EU Asks `Is the Net Essential?' The Answer Could Hurt Google

Bloomberg, here.

Or couldn't data be the infrastructure?

Dateneigentum: Ein trojanisches Pferd

NZZ, hier

Jürgen Klopp: "The EU is not perfect, but it's the best idea we've had so far.”

Here

Waze signs data-sharing deal with AI-based traffic management startup Waycare

TechCrunch, here

FTC Charges Lending Club with Deceiving Consumers

FTC, here.

"Defendant conducts a credit pull on applicants’ credit reports. Defendant then immediately rejects those consumers that it determines do not meet certain baseline criteria. Defendant refers to this step as “front-end” denial..."Although Defendant tells consumers that its loans contain “No hidden fees,” Defendant nevertheless charges consumers an up-front fee that is not clearly and conspicuously disclosed. This fee is calculated as a percentage—on average, approximately 5 percent—of the consumer’s requested loan amount, and often amounts to more than a thousand dollars...Defendant deducts the hidden up-front fee from the promised “Loan Amount” before disbursing the loan funds to the consumer. As a result, the amount of money that Defendant disburses to a consumer’s bank account is always substantially smaller than the promised “Loan Amount.” And because consumers must pay interest on the entire “Loan Amount,” including the fee, Defendant’s hidden fee leaves consumers paying interest on principal that they never received...Defendant has ignored these warnings. Rather than improving over time, Defendant’s violations have become more egregious over the years: when redesigning the application flow in the winter of 2014, Defendant increased the prominence of the “No hidden fees” representation and decreased the prominence of the tooltip...On desktops and mobile phones, after consumers agree to the loan terms and enter bank account information, they then click a “Done!” button and are taken to a screen that has stated, in large type: “Your [amount requested] loan is on the way. What’s next?” The amount that Defendant promises is “on the way” is the same “Loan Amount” that Defendant promised the consumer on the Loan Offer page. For example, a consumer who was promised a $10,000 loan amount will see on this screen a representation that “Your $10,000 loan is on the way...Although Defendant has told each consumer who completed a loan application that his or her “loan is on the way,” a consumer’s application in fact must undergo two additional processes after completion in order to receive final approval. First, an application must attract sufficient investor backing, and second, an application must pass Defendant’s stringent “back-end” credit review—so called to distinguish it from the lighter, “front-end” review that Defendant conducts while the consumer’s application is still in progress...If a consumer has garnered investor funding—but before Defendant has finished the “back-end” review of their applications—Defendant has sent such consumers various email messages communicating that the consumers will receive loans...In reality, however, many consumers who received such emails were subsequently rejected based on Defendant’s “back-end” credit review and never received a loan from Defendant. For example, of the at least approximately 196,000 consumers who received the above email, at least approximately 43,000 were subsequently rejected. The “back-end” credit review is searching and often involves, inter alia, an additional credit inquiry, a phone call to the consumer, requests for additional documentation, and detailed review of the consumer’s tax and bank records...Defendant’s default method of receiving consumers’ scheduled monthly payments is automatic electronic bank account withdrawal via ACH transfer. In numerous instances, Defendant has withdrawn money from consumers’ bank accounts without consumers’ authorization, or in amounts in excess of the amount consumers authorized Defendant to withdraw...As a result of Defendant’s unauthorized charges, many consumers are forced to pay overdraft fees, while other consumers are unable to pay other bills because they do not have access to the money that Defendant improperly withdrew...Defendant’s conduct is governed by the Privacy Rule prior to October 28, 2014, and by Reg. P after that date. The GLB Act authorizes both the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission to enforce Reg. P. 15 U.S.C. § 6805...Defendant failed to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Rule and Reg. P. Specifically, Defendant failed to deliver the initial privacy notice so that each customer can reasonably be expected to receive actual notice. 16 C.F.R. § 313.9; 12 C.F.R. § 1016.9. For example, until at least the end of 2016, Defendant did not require customers to acknowledge receipt of the notice as a necessary step to obtaining a particular financial product or service. 16 C.F.R. § 313.9, and Reg. P, 12 C.F.R. § 1016.9. Instead, Defendant required customers to agree only to Defendant’s Terms of Use, which itself included only a link to Defendant’s privacy policy. In order to reach the privacy notice that Defendant was required to provide to customers, a customer would need to click on a link that did not indicate it was related to privacy, and then further find a link to Defendant’s privacy policy within the lengthy document to which the link led. Customers were not provided a clear and conspicuous privacy notice before they submitted nonpublic personal information to Defendant...Customers were only provided a link leading directly to the notice after they had applied for a personal loan. Defendant’s own compliance group had recommended repeatedly that the company require customer acknowledgment in the years prior to the 2016 change...Consumers have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial injury as a result of Defendant’s violations of the FTC Act and the Privacy Rule. In addition, Defendant has been unjustly enriched as a result of their unlawful acts or practices. Absent injunctive relief by this Court, Defendant is likely to continue to injure consumers, reap unjust enrichment, and harm the public interest."

Why did it take so long for the FTC to act? And what about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau re privacy issues? See FTC FinTech Series: Marketplace Lending June 9, 2016 Transcript, here.  See also here, June 9 2016 ("8 of 15 mention “No Hidden Fees”).

Competition and a fair deal for consumers online

M. Vestager, here.
Platform fairness is today's hot topic but the Commissioner doesn't mention it. She refers to it in an interview, though.

IMG and Leeds United owner's agency raided in EU sport cartel inquiry

The Guardian, here.

Sopnendu Mohanty: «Singapore Will Be an Oasis for Fintechs»

Finews.asia, here

Scams, Lies, And Revenge Porn: In the Facebook Fallout, Will The U.S. Get New Privacy Laws?

Forbes, here

Distributed Ledger Technology

FCA, here. See also here.

Observatory on the Online Platform Economy

EC Decision, here

EU moves to regulate tech giants' business practices

Reuters. here

Kann die Demokratie im 21. Jahrhundert bestehen?

F.W.-Steinmeier, hier

Online platforms: Commission takes legislative steps to ensure transparency and fairness for platform users

EC, here. FAQs here.
Regulation here.
Impact Assessment, here. Annexes, here.

Why does the Commission propose a Communication on online disinformation

EC, here

Pour une régulation européenne des plates-formes numériques

LesEchos.fr, ici

Facebook and the GDPR

J. Carr, here

Vestager zoekt meer grip op snelle techwereld

FD, hier.

Norwegian Air had ‘several inquiries’ since IAG stake revealed

FT, here

Digital banking startup Revolut raises $250M at a valuation of $1.7B

TechCrunch, here

Delete Your Account: On the Theory of Platform Capitalism

LAReviewofbooks, here.

"We are seeing just the tip of the iceberg"

G. Buttarelli, here

Warum Daten unter die Kontrolle der Bürger gehören

E. Hafen, hier.

eBay To Offer PayPal Through July Of 2023

Pymnts, here.

Altaba, Formerly Known as Yahoo!, Charged With Failing to Disclose Massive Cybersecurity Breach; Agrees To Pay $35 Million

SEC, here.

Study in Support of the Evaluation of the Database Directive

EC, here.

Guidance on sharing private sector data in the European data economy

Commission Staff Working Paper, here.

Future of Identity and getting there

Mydex, here

Liability for emerging digital technologies

Commissiion Staff Working Paper, here.

Artificial Intelligence for Europe

EC, Communication, here

Data in the EU: Commission steps up efforts to increase availability and boost healthcare data sharing

EC, here

Proposal for a revised Directive on the reuse of Public Sector Information

EC, here. Impact Assessment and related documents here.

Artificial intelligence: Commission outlines a European approach to boost investment and set ethical guidelines

EC, here

Towards a common European data space

EC, Communication, here.

"Cordoba-Fall"

C-161/17, Schlussanträge des Generalanwalts Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona, hier

COMPETITION IS AT THE HEART OF FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY PROBLEM

D. Cicilline, T. McSweeny, here

EU Code of conduct on agricultural data sharing by contractual agreement

Here.  Remarks by EU Commissioner Hogan here

Commission opens in-depth investigation into Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam

EC, here.

Mercedes setzt KI von Alibaba ein

FAZ, hier.

Facebook's hidden data haul troubles German cartel regulator

Reuters, here

Global fintech funding hits record $5.4bn in Q1

FinExtra, here

Who’s Benefiting? Revisiting the Innovation and Start-Up Ecosystem

Digital Platforms and Concentration, Panel, Video here

Art imitates life in the digital age

FT, here

Privacy and Personal Data Collection with Information Externalities

J. Choi, D.-S. Jeon, B.-C. Kim, here

Protecting competition, Reinforcing Consumer Protection, Rethinking Regulation

J. Tirole, Video here.

Some Memorable Quotes:
"Potential competition...if you don't know...the wise thing to do is not to let the merger operate"
"mfn...one of the cleverest strategies I've ever encountered, and people don't get it somehow"
"the important thing is, you can tax people who don't use you"
"I don't have a personal assistant, I don't want a personal assistant"
"What is the right fee for Booking?...I don't know"
"Defaults matter"
"We need the help the consumer...help me...self-regulation is going nowhere"
"Competition policy is slow, and often too late"
"Back and forth process" of regulation "you need to have guidelines and supervision"
"Participative antitrust" (droit de la concurrence participatif, this is the idea, my bet), "regulation reactive to ideas...proposed by the industry"
"You should make regulation agile...and listen to the industry"
"I'm not against breaking up those firms...my gut feeling right now is that it's difficult...harder that it used to be in the past because the technology is moving faster"

Brief discussion of Choi, Jeon, Kim Paper from 29:01

(tbd)

The Amazon Phenomenon

Stigler Center, Digital Platforms and Concentration, Panel, Video here

US vs EU: Antitrust, Data, and Privacy Policy

Stigler Center, Digital Platforms and Concentration, Panel, Video here

A Google Breakup Would Fit the EU's Logic

Bloomberg, here

Regulating Facebook merely nips at the edge of a bigger problem

FT, here

Australian regulator flags scrutiny of Uber Eats

Reuters, here

Law and Autonomous Systems Series: Blockchains and the Right to be Forgotten

M. Finck, here

Blockchain Is About to Revolutionize the Shipping Industry

Bloomberg, here

Property is theft (and allocatively inefficient too)

D. Coyle, here

Facebook parries ad market 'dominance' claims

AFR, here

Australia needs tougher penalties for banks, financial institutions, ACCC says

ABC.net.au, here

Werbekunden verpflichten sich zu mehr Daten-Transparenz

WuW, hier

The challenges for present and future competition enforcement

Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, here

Lagarde urges greater scrutiny of big tech companies

FT, here
Transcript of the CNBC's interview here:

"EISEN: ALL RIGHT. YOU’VE CERTAINLY BEEN WARNING ABOUT THAT. I KNOW YOU LOOK AT BANK REGULATIONS. WHAT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY REGULATIONS? DO YOU THINK WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE A WAVE OF INCREASED SCRUTINY— OBVIOUSLY WE’VE SEEN SCRUTINY, BUT REVELATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO TECH GLOBALLY AND REVELATIONS INTO THEIR COMPETITIVENESS, AND COMPANIES LIKE FACEBOOK, GOOGLE AND AMAZON.
LAGARDE: WELL, AS YOU SAID IN THE IMF, WE SUPPORT FREE MARKET. WE SUPPORT COMPETITION. WE SUPPORT IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY. WE SUPPORT INNOVATION. AND WE KNOW FOR A FACT THAT WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH MARKET CONCENTRATION IN THE HANDS OF TOO FEW, WE’RE NOT SEEING COMPETITION, WE’RE NOT SEEING INNOVATION. AND OVER TIME WE ARE SEEING, YOU KNOW, GRADUAL --
EISEN: IS THAT WHEN FACEBOOK IS?
LAGARDE: IT DEPENDS HOW YOU DEFINE THE MARKET. IT DEPENDS WHO SUBSTITUTES. I MEAN, IT’S A VERY COMPLICATED DEBATE.
EISEN: YOU’RE NOT GOING TO CALL ANYONE OUT.
LAGARDE: BUT WE SHOULD ACTUALLY DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS THAT LEVEL OF ACCESS TO MARKET, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE ACCUMULATION OF THAT DATA IN THE HANDS OF A FEW IS NOT GOING TO BE SUCH A BARRIER THAT OTHER ENTREPRENEURS SIMPLY CANNOT ACCESS. SO THE SITUATION IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT WAS IN THE TELECOM AGE OR IN THE GILDED AGE. WE NEED TO REALLY RE-THINK THE WAY IN WHICH THAT SITUATION IS ADDRESSED. COMPETITION IS ENCOURAGED AND IF THAT REQUIRES A NEW SET OF RULES TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE Intangibility OF THOSE ASSETS, IT NEEDS TO BE DONE. LOOK AT TAX, FOR INSTANCE. IT’S ONE IN WHICH ALL POLICYMAKERS AROUND THE WORLD NEED TO ACTUALLY LOOK AT: WHERE IS VALUE LOCATED? WHERE IS VALUE GENERATED? HOW SHOULD IT BE TAXED AND WHAT REVENUE SHOULD BE CONTRIBUTED BY THOSE PLAYERS?"

Information Technology and Industry Concentration

J. Bessen, here

Data as Destiny? Palantir Knows Everything About You

Bloomberg, here

Don’t Stop Believin’: Antitrust Enforcement in the Digital Era

M. Delrahim, here.

The Digital Heroes That Fought Against Government Surveillance Are Quiet About Facebook. They’re Missing Their Moment

Slate, here.

DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim: “American Antitrust Agencies Likely Have Made More Enforcement Mistakes Than Any of Their Foreign Counterparts”

Pro Market, here

EP’s Report on the Annual Report on Competition Policy

Here

Künstliche Intelligenz im Reality-Check

SAS, hier

Data experts on Facebook’s GDPR changes: Expect lawsuits

TechCrunch, here

Facebook to put 1.5bn users out of reach of new EU GDPR privacy law

"In Spirit"
Irish Times, here

Productivity and the Financial Sector – What’s Missing?

 C.D. Howe Institute, here

So ... you wanna talk about Facebook?

Make me smart, Interview with T. McSweeny, Audio here

Revolving doors at the EU commission's finance unit

EUObserver, here

Solutions to the Threats of Digital Monopolies

ProMarket, here

Data privacy, mergers key topics of discussion during ABA Antitrust Law spring meeting

ABA, here

5 questions sur l’action de la Quadrature du Net contre les géants du web

Numerama.com, ici

Uber exits Philippines despite antitrust review

AsiaNikkei, here

Apple Is Planning to Launch a News Subscription Service

Bloomberg Technology, here

High-Level Hearing: A European Union Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

Hearing, Video here

The European AI Landscape

EC, here.

Economía digital y competencia

A. Faya, aquì.

Net neutrality rules move past first hurdle in California

LATimes, here

The UAE Competition Committee is open for business

Hogan Lovells, here

Daten autonomer Autos sollten nicht gleich an den Hersteller gehen

SZ, hier

AT&T/Time Warner merger case

Interview with Brent Kendall, Audio here (from 05:30)

Algorithms and competition

M. Vestager, here . Large friendly letters? "It's true that the idea of automated systems getting together and reaching a...