Doubts about how competition law should apply to e-commerce – Bird & Bird
The consequences of infringing competition law are becoming more serious, while there is increasing awareness of the possibility of claiming damages for such infringements
The big competition law issue at EU level relates to how legislation should be applied to the digital world, says Patricia Liñan, partner at Bird & Bird. “The Google case is a prime example, where the EU Commission has imposed a record fine of more than €2 billion, and there is also a final report from the commission on the application of competition rules to e-commerce and how that will work,” she adds.
Liñan says that, at a national level, the Spanish competition authority continues to focus on cases of cartels in public procurement, and the application of fines against individuals. In terms of opportunities for law firms, she says the main one stems from the fact that the consequences of infringing competition law are becoming more serious. She adds that this is because of the increasing awareness of the possibility of claiming damages for such infringements, and the possible criminal consequences for companies. In this scenario, competition lawyers are experiencing more demand for compliance-related work. Liñan says companies need to put competition law on their agendas, and as competition law becomes more sophisticated, more in-depth analysis of the potential risks is required.