For me, one of the most interesting developments in 2017 has been in the US. While probably the most important probe in the US into collusion is a political one (on the electoral „market“), also with regard to antitrust there are some glimmers of hope. It is encouraging to see signs of a debate in the US on stronger enforcement in the merger area and of the rules against anti-competitive practices, in particular in the digital area. Antitrust seems to be back on the political agenda, also in the US. But at the end of the day, enforcement is what counts, not debate. Let’s see where the launch of the investigation by Missouri against Google will lead to. But irrespective of whether Commissioner Vestager’s „fan club in the US is growing“ (to quote Politico), Europe should stick to its competition guns.
Dr. Thorsten Käseberg is head of unit for competition and consumer policy in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.