International Legal Highlights – November 2019

McDermott Will & Emery

EU COMPETITION LAW AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Wilko van Weert

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data are playing an increasingly important role in the economy. Competition law will have to evolve if it is to reconcile the positive and negative effects that the use of these new instruments may have on markets.

Modern life is being progressively influenced by the “fourth industrial revolution”, whereby new and disruptive technologies and trends, such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality, AI, and big data are combined in ways that until recently were inconceivable. Although all these factors will influence the way we work and live, AI and big data are already playing a critical role in how companies make business decisions and interact with customers, suppliers, and one another. AI may even lead to the development of entirely new economic models.

Because of the relative novelty and rapid development of AI-based platforms and applications, antitrust agencies and commentators are struggling to establish how the existing competition law framework can be applied to the issues that arise out of the effects that AI and its use of data have on the functioning of markets.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is based on a tailor-made set of algorithms. An algorithm is itself a set of decision-making rules that is able to generate a precise output from certain data inputs. Traditional algorithms are relatively static (if this then that) and do not adapt their output based on feedback. AI introduces a self-learning element that allows the algorithm to adapt itself and get better and more efficient at its task as it processes more data.

AI is therefore a dynamic algorithm with an increasingly precise output. AI only works, however, if the underlying algorithms are fed sufficient data that allows the algorithm to learn and improve. For example, when a consumer searches online for a product, a supplier’s AI platform will collect data from the customer’s previous searches, and combine this with a detailed profile of the individual and statistics from the market, in order to propose a new product at the right time, personalised and priced appropriately to entice the consumer to make the purchase.

If the consumer buys a different product through the platform, that choice will become part of the updated dataset that determines what product may be proposed to this or similar consumers in the future. The chances that the proposed offer appeals to this consumer therefore increases over time.

AI, algorithms, and access to data clearly influence the functioning of markets and may therefore have direct or indirect implications under competition law.

Collusion

Collusion in oligopoly markets is one of the main concerns of competition agencies when assessing the effects of algorithms, even though enforcers and academic commentators differ on whether the use of algorithms will ultimately harm or benefit competition.

The use of AI in pricing algorithms is often feared to lead to tacit collusion i.e., the alignment of competitive behaviour without explicit agreement. Because algorithms are created with a specific purpose in mind, their propensity to result in tacit collusion depends on how the algorithm is programmed and used. Much depends on the number of competitors in the market and the willingness by some to compete aggressively.

Equally, it has often been argued that pricing algorithms create more opportunities for consumers to compare products and prices and ultimately get a better deal. In a market with sufficient suppliers, this is likely to hold true. In a market with few suppliers, this transparency may have the opposite effect and induce these few suppliers to align their prices.

Resale Price Maintenance

The first line imposed by the European Commission in this field related to the use of algorithms in e-commerce and concerned a vertical issue.

The Commission sanctioned four consumer electronics manufacturers that had engaged in resale price maintenance (RPM) practices with regard to their online retailers.

When those retailers did not follow the prices requested by the suppliers and instead offered their products at prices below the recommended resale price, they faced threats or sanctions from the manufacturers, such as blocking of supplies. The use of sophisticated monitoring tools allowed the manufacturers to effectively track resale price setting in the distribution network, and to intervene swiftly when it noted deviations from the recommended resale price. The price interventions limited effective price competition between retailers and led to higher prices for consumers.

An interesting element here is that the retailers themselves used pricing algorithms, which automatically adapted retail prices to those of competitors. In the Commission’s view, this would have led to lower prices if it were not for the intervention by the manufacturers.

In addition to these collusive aspects, it is clear that algorithm-based business models could also give rise to potential abuse of market dominance by large operators.

Abuse of Dominance

By other new technologies, dominant market players may find new ways of leveraging their dominance and foreclosing other companies from the market. This was the case with a large search engine provider that was found to have abused its dominant position by altering, for its own benefit, the criteria of its generic search algorithm with the objective of demoting competing comparison shopping services in the search results list.

A main area of discussion regarding dominant companies is whether or not they should make their data sets available to companies that, without this data, will never make it in a given market. Access to data is therefore likely to be a hot topic for the new Commission.

Algorithms might entirely change the way suppliers interact with their customers in a market. By monitoring prices, customer profiles and behaviour and other factors, algorithms can create the “perfect price discrimination”, which is the ability to charge customers exactly what they are willing to pay at any given time and circumstance. This individualised pricing is still relatively new from a competition law perspective, and raises the question of whether or not offers and transactions can be compared, and how they should be assessed from a competition law perspective.

On the other hand, consumers will also increasingly have access to platforms that use pricing algorithms to make markets more transparent and navigable, and help consumers make better choices. The same platforms may allow producers to react more quickly to consumer demand and market evolution, which could be viewed as efficiency enhancing.

The Way Forward

While the fourth industrial revolution is already upon us, and algorithms and AI are omnipresent, competition law enforcers are still struggling to determine how to deal with this new reality. Disruptive technologies may have to adapt to competition law, but competition law will have to take into account new market realities, and enforcers will have to capture whether and where infringements are committed. Enforcement agencies may need to have recourse to AI themselves in detecting anticompetitive practices in future.

It is likely that AI and its applications will figure highly on the agenda of the new Commission when it takes office in November. All market players using AI will be watching what the policy agenda will bring, but the big data aggregators will likely have the most to fear.

Pedro García de Pesquera Villagrán also contributed to this article.

KEEPING PACE IN THE GDPR RACE: A GLOBAL VIEW OF GDPR PROGRESS IN THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE, CHINA AND JAPAN

Mark E. Schreiber | Ashley Winton | Romain Perray

This is the follow-up study to last year’s research, The Race to GDPR. In this year’s study, we expanded the research, for the first time, to include China and Japan in addition to the United States and Europe. A total of 1,263 organizations are represented in this study.

The uniquely demanding European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on May 25, 2018, virtually transforming how organizations in every industry handle personal data. This study reflects practical difficulties and regional differences in levels of adherence to GDPR across Europe, the United States, China and Japan.

Sponsored by law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP and our strategic alliance, MWE China Law Offices, this follow-up research tackles the ongoing challenges organizations face in the wake of GDPR, despite their dedication to implementing the new requirements. Participants in this study work in a variety of departments, including IT, IT security, compliance, legal, data protection office and privacy. All organizations represented in this research are subject to GDPR.

Executive Summary: GDPR Progress and Data Breach Management

GDPR work is ongoing; most organizations did not meet the May 25, 2018, deadline. Many organizations are renewing their GDPR budgets accordingly. Most organizations represented in this research report that GDPR implementation took longer than they had anticipated (54% of respondents) and that it was equally or more difficult to implement than other data privacy and security requirements (80% of respondents). Most organizations have a GDPR budget (72% of respondents), and about a third say the budget will be renewed annually (35% of respondents) or continue indefinitely (24% of respondents).

Read the full report here.

EXPANDED CFIUS REVIEW OVER NON-CONTROLLING FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN US BUSINESSES AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS

David J. Levine | Raymond Paretzky | Samuel (Sam) Everett Dewey

The US Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that would “comprehensively” implement legislation passed last year, FIRRMA, to broaden the jurisdiction of CFIUS. Interested parties have until October 17 to file comments that could influence how Treasury finalizes the rules.

On September 17, 2019, the US Treasury Department (Treasury) issued proposed regulations that would “comprehensively” implement legislation passed last year, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA). This would broaden the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review foreign investments in the United States to determine their impact on US national security. FIRRMA expanded the role of CFIUS to review non-controlling foreign investments in US businesses and foreign investments in certain US real estate. Interested parties have until October 17, 2019, to file comments that could influence how Treasury finalizes the rules, which FIRRMA requires be completed by February 13, 2020.

Under prior legislation, CFIUS has had authority to review transactions that could result in control of a US business by a foreign person. FIRRMA expanded the authority of CFIUS to review certain foreign non-controlling investments and real estate transactions that previously fell outside its jurisdiction. A CFIUS review of any transaction may result in the transaction being cleared to proceed without revision, cleared to proceed with mitigating measures to address any national security issues, or blocked on account of unresolved national security issues. The new rules would provide important clarity and predictability for the business community concerning how CFIUS will treat foreign investment transactions.

Although FIRRMA provided for CFIUS to establish filing fee requirement for notifications and reviews, the new proposed rules do not impose a filing fee. Instead, Treasury has indicated that it will publish a separate proposed rule regarding fees at a later date.

The proposed rules can be accessed here: Proposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-Part-800 and Proposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-Part-802. CFIUS guidance on the proposed rules can be accessed here: Proposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-FACT-SHEET and Proposed-FIRRMA-Regs-FAQs. Following is a summary of key provisions.

Rules for ‘Covered Investments’

Prior to FIRRMA, CFIUS had authority to review controlling investments (primarily acquisitions) in US businesses by foreign persons, called “covered transactions.” FIRRMA expanded CFIUS’s jurisdiction to authorize reviews of certain non-controlling investments by foreign persons in a US business if (1) such investment affords the foreign person.

  • access to material non-public technical information;
  • membership, observer, or nomination rights for the board of directors or equivalent; or
  • involvement in substantive decision-making regarding
  • use, development, acquisition, safekeeping, or release of “sensitive personal data” of US citizens;
  • use, development, acquisition, or release of “critical technologies”; or
  • management, operation, manufacture, or supply of “critical infrastructure”;

and (2) if the US business is one that

  • produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates or develops one or more “critical technologies”;
  • owns, operates, manufactures, supplies or services “critical infrastructure”; or
  • maintains or collects “sensitive personal data” of US citizens that may be exploited in a manner that threatens US national security.

In the first of two sets of proposed new rules, Treasury will amend its existing Title 31, Part 800 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to define more clearly the highlighted terms above. The new rules would name such a non-controlling investment subject to CFIUS jurisdiction a “covered investment,” rename a foreign controlling investment in a US business a “covered control transaction” and retain the old term “covered transaction” to cover both of the foregoing as well as any transaction intended to evade or circumvent the CFIUS law.

Under the new rules, CFIUS reviews of most covered investments would continue to be triggered by parties voluntarily notifying CFIUS of the transaction, by filing either a full notice or a short-form “declaration” on a five-page form. However, pursuant to FIRRMA, the rules will make declarations mandatory for certain covered transactions where a foreign government has a “substantial interest” or where the US business involves critical technologies. For the latter, Treasury already has established a “pilot program” mandating declarations or notices for such covered investments, and the new rules would not at this time modify the pilot program.

Neither FIRRMA nor the proposed rules establish a “white list” or “black list” to treat distinctly any specified countries or nationals thereof. However, the new rules would create an exception from “covered investments” (but not from “covered control transactions”) for foreign persons that qualify as “excepted investors” (i.e., investors tied to a country that CFIUS determines to be an “excepted foreign state” based on that country’s maintenance and compliance with certain laws and practices in furtherance of national security protection).

Rules for Certain Real Estate Transactions

In a second set of proposed rules creating a new Part 802 of CFR Title 31, Treasury would implement the provisions of FIRRMA that authorize CFIUS to review certain real estate transactions. Specifically, FIRRMA subjected to CFIUS jurisdiction the lease by, or concession to, a foreign person of private or public real estate that:

  • is, is located within or will function as part of an air or maritime port;
  • is in “close proximity” to (i.e., within one mile of) a US military installation or other sensitive US government property;
  • could provide the foreign person the ability to collect intelligence on activities at such US government property; or
  • could expose national security activities at such US government property to foreign surveillance risk.

An appendix to the proposed rules lists by name and location relevant military installations and incorporates lists of relevant airports and maritime ports published by the US Department of Transportation.

The rules do not impose a mandatory filing with CFIUS for covered real estate transactions; rather, parties to covered real estate transactions may voluntarily file a notice or short-form declaration to seek review and clearance by CFIUS.

As in the case of “covered investments,” the new CFIUS real estate rules create exceptions from coverage for certain foreign persons defined as “excepted real estate investors” if they have requisite ties to certain countries that CFIUS identifies as “excepted real estate foreign states” and if the persons are found to comply with certain national security-related laws of those countries. The new rules provide other exceptions from the scope of covered real estate transactions for single housing units, real estate in an “urbanized area” and office space in multi-unit commercial office buildings.

Considerations for Parties to Covered Transactions and Covered Real Estate Transactions

FIRRMA, which passed with large bipartisan congressional and executive branch support, leaves a wide range of discretion for CFIUS. Those contemplating transactions involving foreign investment in the United States should carefully consider the scope of the new CFIUS rules, in conjunction with the political and practical dimensions of US national security concerns, to determine if and/or how the new rules may apply. From these perspectives, interested parties should also consider submitting comments prior to the comment deadline of October 17 to influence how Treasury finalizes the rules.

CFIUS will continue for now its pilot program mandating notification and CFIUS reviews for certain covered transactions involving US businesses with critical technologies in one of 27 specified industries. Accordingly, parties to such transactions will need to continue to adhere to the interim regulations issued by CFIUS for this program in October 2018 (see McDermott On the Subject on CFIUS Pilot Program).

SECOND CIRCUIT DECLINES TO LIMIT FCPA’S SCOPE

Paul M. Thompson | Sarah E. Walters | Michael S. Stanek

The Second Circuit’s decision in United States v. Ng Lap Seng is a win for the government, because it reinforces the broad reach and scope of the Justice Department’s enforcement of the FCPA. When adopting and implementing an anti-corruption compliance program, international companies should continue to take measures to avoid any conduct that may place them at risk.

In Depth

On August 9, 2019, in United States v. Ng Lap Seng, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declined to extend the limitations established in the Supreme Court’s McDonnell ruling to other federal corruption and bribery laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The Second Circuit’s decision means that prosecutors will not be constrained in prosecuting FCPA violations in the way the Supreme Court unanimously limited the application of the federal domestic corruption statute. A win for the government, the Second Circuit’s decision reinforces the broad reach and scope of the Justice Department’s enforcement of the FCPA.

In 2018, a jury in the Southern District of New York convicted Ng Lap Seng of violating the FCPA for paying two UN ambassadors more than $1 million to secure their commitment to base an annual UN conference at his Macau, China, real estate development. In particular, Ng paid one ambassador $20,000 per month purportedly to serve as president of a media organization called South-South News when, in fact, the ambassador understood a portion of that payment was to secure his support for the use of Ng’s development. In addition, Ng paid another ambassador’s wife purportedly for consulting when, in fact, she never performed such services. After his conviction, Ng appealed, arguing among other points that the jury instructions for his FCPA violation were deficient under the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in McDonnell.

In McDonnell, the Supreme Court considered the meaning of “official act” under 18 U.S.C. § 201, which penalizes the provision of “anything of value” for the purpose of influencing a public official to take an “official act.” The Supreme Court unanimously held that arranging a meeting, contacting other public officials or hosting events concerning a broad policy issue such as economic development, “without more,” did not qualify as “official act[s]” under the statute. The Court looked to the language of the statute, and had two statutory bases for its holding. First, under § 201, an “official act” must involve a “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy” that is either pending or may be brought before a public official, or must involve a formal exercise of governmental power akin to a hearing, administrative proceeding or lawsuit. Second, to make a violation of the statute, the government must prove the public official made a decision or took an action “on” that “official act.”

In his appeal, Ng argued that FCPA bribery charges required proof of an “official act” satisfying the McDonnell standard. In joining a number of other circuits that have declined to extend McDonnell, the Second Circuit held that the FCPA has no such limiting requirement. First, the Court explained that no uniform definition applies to the word “bribe” in the federal code. While Congress has generally prohibited “corruptly giving an official ‘anything of value’ (the quid),” not all federal bribery statutes identify an “official act” as “the necessary quo for bribery.”

The FCPA makes it a crime to “corruptly … give a foreign official anything of value” (the quid) for four purposes. First, for the purpose of “influencing any act or decision of such foreign official in his official capacity.” Second, for “inducing such foreign official to do or omit to do any act in violation of the lawful duty of such official.” Third, for “securing any improper advantage.” Or fourth, for “inducing such foreign official to use his influence with a foreign government or instrumentality thereof to affect or influence any act or decision of such government or instrumentality.” The Second Circuit explained that these four purposes are “the quos” under the FCPA, which further requires “that the quos serve a particular purpose” (i.e., to assist the giver in “obtaining,” “retaining” or “directing” business). Accordingly, the Second Circuit found that McDonnell‘s ruling on the “quo component of bribery” in §201(a)(3) does not “delimit the quo components of other bribery statutes,” including the FCPA.

While prosecutors are now constrained in the types of conduct they can pursue in bribery cases against US officials, the Second Circuit’s ruling means that those same limits do not apply in FCPA prosecutions. Even if payments or gifts made to a foreign official do not result in an “official act” by that official, such conduct could still result in an FCPA violation if it was done to influence or induce that official to take (or not take) action. Because the broad reach of the FCPA remains intact after the Second Circuit’s ruling, companies should continue to draw clear lines in their policies and codes of conduct prohibiting such payments, and in placing parameters around the provision of gifts and gratuities, to avoid any uncertainty as to what may place the company at legal risk.

INTERIM MEASURES IMPOSED ON BROADCOM: THE RE-AWAKENING OF A ONCE-DORMANT TOOL?

Jacques Buhart | David Henry

The European Commission (EC) has found, on a prima facie basis, that Broadcom abused its dominant position. In order to avert the risk of serious and irreparable damage to competition, Broadcom has been ordered to cease its prima facie abusive conduct with almost immediate effect. This is the first time in 18 years that the EC has made use of such measure and could signal the re-awakening of a once-dormant tool.

Interim Measures Under EU Competition Law

The imposition of interim measures by the EC is a relatively rare occurrence. Since the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgment in Camera Care (Case 792/79 (1980)), which held that the EC has a right to impose interim measures, the EC has imposed them on only nine occasions, with the majority being in abuse of dominance cases.

The EC’s right to impose interim measures is now codified in Art. 8(1) of Regulation 1/2003. Pursuant to Art. 8(1), the EC may impose interim measures where the following conditions are met: there is a prima facie finding of infringement of competition law (Condition 1), and there is an urgent need for such measures to avert the risk of serious and irreparable damage to competition (Condition 2). Discharging the burden of proof for establishing “irreparability” is particularly onerous, however, which explains why Art. 8(1) had never been invoked—until 16 October 2019, when the EC ordered Broadcom to stop applying certain provisions contained in agreements with six of its customers.

Interim Measures in Broadcom

In June 2019 the EC opened an investigation to examine whether Broadcom restricted competition in various markets for chipsets and components for so-called central office/head end equipment by engaging in certain practices, including tying, bundling and exclusivity. In parallel, the EC sent Broadcom a Statement of Objections (SO) preliminarily concluding that interim measures regarding certain aspects of its conduct may be required to ensure the effectiveness of any final decision. On 16 October 2019, the EC formally decided to impose interim measures on Broadcom. This was because Conditions 1 and 2 of Art. 8(1) of Regulation 1/2003 were, in the eyes of the EC, met.

Condition 1

Broadcom was, on a prima facie basis, found to hold a dominant position on three distinct markets for systems-on-a-chip: TV set-top boxes, fibre modems and xDSL modems.

Broadcom was found at first sight to be abusing its prima facie dominant position on the three aforementioned markets by having entered into anticompetitive clauses in agreements with six of its original equipment manufacturers for TV set-top boxes and modems. Specifically:

  • With a view to reinforcing its dominance, Broadcom offered commercial advantages (e.g. rebates) in return for the customer purchasing solely or quasi-solely from Broadcom
  • With a view to leveraging its prima facie dominance from the above-mentioned markets into the separate market for systems-on-a-chip for cable modems, Broadcom offered commercial advantages in these markets in return for the customer purchasing systems-on-a-chip for cable modems solely or quasi-solely from Broadcom

Condition 2

Regarding the urgent need for interim measures, the EC considered that if Broadcom’s conduct were permitted to continue, it would likely affect a number of tenders in the future, including in relation to the upcoming introduction of the WiFi 6 standard for modems and TV set-top boxes. This would in all probability lead to other chipset suppliers not being in a position to compete with Broadcom and ultimately might lead to their marginalisation or even exit.

The EC therefore required Broadcom, within 30 days of its decision and for a period of three years, to cease to apply the anticompetitive provisions and refrain from agreeing the same provisions or other provisions with equivalent object or effect in other agreements. The substantive investigation of the case remains ongoing.

Interim Measures – Alive and Kicking?

The Broadcom interim measures decision is the first time that Art. 8 of Regulation 1/2003 has been invoked. The last interim measures decision goes back 18 years, when the EC used this tool against IMS Health in 2001 (which the EC ultimately withdrew in 2003).

Until now, the EC has been reticent to make use of this procedural tool. This can be explained by the heavy burden of proof on the EC when seeking to invoke Art. 8(1). The high risk that its decisions would subsequently be challenged before the EU courts has led the EC to leave the use of interim measures to national competition authorities (NCAs). These NCAs often operate under a lower burden of proof when imposing such measures. For example, in France, where such powers are more regularly used, the French authority “only” needs to prove a serious and immediate damage to competition—which implies a lower burden of proof than that pertaining to the concept of “irreparability” enshrined in Art. 8(1) of Regulation 1/2003.

Nevertheless, the EC’s reticence to invoke Art. 8(1) appears to be fading. This is particularly the case with respect to fast-moving technology markets—owing possibly, at least to some degree, to the vociferous criticism the EC received for having taken so long to conclude the Google Shopping case. Indeed, following the Broadcom decision, Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner and chief coordinator of the digital portfolio, warned that in fast-moving technology markets she is now “committed to making the best possible use of this important tool” in order to enforce competition rules “in a fast and effective manner”. In further testimony of the EC’s change of heart, DG Comp is now actively screening all cases to see whether they are candidates for the application of interim measures. In doing so, the EC will likely seek to draw inspiration from the significant experience that NCAs have with this procedural mechanism.

Broadcom has challenged the EC’s interim measures decision, a re-awakening of the EC interim measures mechanism would have its advantages. For one, interim measures taken by the EC have effect throughout the European Union and thus avert any risk of different Member States taking contradictory positions in this regard. On the other hand, the speed with which interim measures are imposed is often critical. Given the length of time it took the EC to impose interim measures in Broadcom (three months from issuance of the SO), and unless the EC finds a way to expedite the procedure, it may still be more advantageous to seek interim measures from national courts which can impose them within a matter of days, albeit with only national reach.

EU競争法と人口知能

Wilko van Weert

人工知能(AI)とビッグデータは、経済上ますます重要な役割を果たしている。 こうした新しいツールの使用が市場に与えるであろうプラスとマイナスの影響を調和させるために、競争法は進化しなければならない。現代の生活は、「モノのインターネット」(Internet of Things)、ロボット工学、仮想現実、AI及びビッグデータといった既存の枠組みを打ち砕くような新しいテクノロジーとトレンドが、これまで考えられなかった方法で結合される「第4次産業革命」の影響を徐々に受けている。こうしたすべての新しいテクノロジーとトレンドが私たちの働き方や生活に影響を与えることになるだろう。しかし、中でもAIとビッグデータは、企業がどのようにビジネス上の意思決定を行い、顧客やサプライヤーとやり取りするかという点において、すでに重要な役割を果たしている。また、 AIは、まったく新しい経済モデルの開発にもつながる可能性がある。

AIをベースとしたプラットフォームとアプリケーションは相対的に新しく、かつ急速に発展している。そのため、独占禁止法の執行機関と評論家は、AIとそのデータの使用が市場機能にもたらす影響から生じる問題に対し、既存の競争法の枠組みを適用する方法を確立するのに苦労している。

人口知能

AIはオーダーメイドのアルゴリズム集合に基づいている。

アルゴリズムそれ自体、特定のデータのインプットから正確なアウトプットの生成を可能にする意思決定ルールの集合である。 従来のアルゴリズムは比較的変化がなく(「もし『これ』であれば『それ』となる」というように。)、フィードバックに基づいてアウトプットを変化させるものではなかった。これに対し、 AIは、アルゴリズムの変化を可能にすることで、より多くのデータを処理するほど、より良く、より効率的なタスク処理が可能になるという自己学習要素を導入するものである。

それゆえに、AIは、アウトプットの正確性を高めることができる動的アルゴリズムである。 ただし、AIは、基礎となるアルゴリズムに、アルゴリズムが学習し改善するために十分なデータが与えられた場合にのみ機能する。 たとえば、消費者が製品をオンラインで検索すると、製品供給者のAIプラットフォームは、当該顧客に購入をさせるため、当該顧客の以前の検索からデータを収集し、そうして得られたデータを当該個人の詳細なプロフィールおよび市場統計と組み合わせることで、適切にパーソナライズおよび価格設定された新製品を適切なタイミングで提案する。

消費者が当該プラットフォームにおいて異なる製品を購入した場合には、その選択はデータセットの一部となり、当該消費者又は同様の消費者に対し将来提案する製品を決定する際に使用される。そのため、当該消費者に対しての提案の魅力度が徐々に高まる。

このように、AI、アルゴリズム、及びデータへのアクセスは明らかに市場機能に影響を与えており、競争法の観点からも、直接又は間接的な影響を生む可能性がある。

談合

アルゴリズムの使用が最終的に競争に害を及ぼすか利益をもたらすかについて、競争法の執行機関と学者の意見が異なるとしても、寡占市場における談合は、アルゴリズムの影響を評価する際の競争法規制当局の主要な関心事の1つだ。

価格設定アルゴリズムでのAIの使用は、黙示的共謀、つまり明示的合意のない競争行動の調整につながることがしばしば懸念される。 アルゴリズムは特定の目的を念頭に置いて作成されるため、黙示的共謀をもたらす傾向は、アルゴリズムがどのようにプログラミングされ使用されるかに依存する。 多くは、市場の競争者の数と、一部の競争者の積極的競争意志に依存する。

同様に、価格設定アルゴリズムは、消費者が製品と価格を比較し、最終的により良い取引ができる機会を増やすと主張されてきた。 十分な供給者がいる市場では、そのとおりかもしれない。 しかし、供給者が少ない市場では、この透明性は逆の効果をもたらし、少数の供給者は価格を調整するよう誘因されるかもしれない。

再販売価格維持

この分野で欧州委員会によって課された最初の制裁金の案件は、電子商取引でのアルゴリズムの使用に関連する、垂直的な問題に関連するものだった。

欧州委員会は、オンライン販売業者に関して再販価格維持を実施していた家電メーカー4社に、制裁を下した。

これらの販売業者が家電メーカーの要請価格に従わず、推奨再販価格を下回る価格で製品を販売した場合、販売業者は、供給停止など、家電メーカーによる脅迫や制裁に直面した。 家電メーカーは、高度な監視ツールを使用することで、流通ネットワークにおける再販価格設定を効果的に追跡し、推奨再販価格からの逸脱に気づいたときには迅速に介入することができた。 価格介入は、販売業者間の効果的な価格競争を制限し、消費者の購入価格の上昇をもたらした。

ここでの興味深い点は、販売業者ら自身が価格設定アルゴリズムを使用していたことだ。このアルゴリズムは、小売価格を競合他社の価格に自動的に適合させるものだった。 欧州委員会の見解では、仮にメーカーによる介入がなければ、このアルゴリズムは価格の低下をもたらしただろうとのことである。

これらの談合的な側面に加えて、アルゴリズムベースのビジネスモデルは、大規模な事業者による市場支配の潜在的濫用をも引き起こしかねないことは明らかだ。

市場支配の濫用

他の新しいテクノロジーによって、市場支配的な地位にある企業は、自身の支配性を利用して市場から他の企業を排除する新しい方法を見つけるかもしれない。検索結果リストにおいて競合する価格比較サービスを格下げするために一般的な検索アルゴリズムの基準を自己に有利に変更することで、市場支配的な地位を濫用したことが判明した大規模な検索エンジンのプロバイダーのケースがそれだ。

市場支配的な企業に関する主な議論は、市場支配的な企業が、そうした企業が有するデータなしでは市場で生き残れない企業に対しデータ一式を利用可能にすべきかどうかだ。したがって、データへのアクセスは、新しい欧州委員会のホットトピックになる可能性がある。

アルゴリズムは、市場における供給者と顧客間のやり取りの方法を完全に変えるかもしれない。 価格、顧客プロフィール、行動およびその他の要因をモニタリングすることにより、アルゴリズムは「完全な価格差別」を生み出すことができる。これは、特定の時点および状況において顧客が支払う意思のある額を、当該顧客に対し請求する能力である。この個別の価格設定は、競争法の観点からはまだ比較的新しいものであり、オファーと取引を比較しうるか、および競争法の観点からどのように評価すべきかという問題を提起するものだ。

一方で、価格設定アルゴリズムを使用して市場の透明性を上げ市場内を行き来しやすくすることで、消費者がより良い選択を行えるよう手助けするプラットフォームに消費者がアクセスできる機会もますます増えている。同じプラットフォームを使用することにより、生産者は、顧客の需要と市場の変化にさらに迅速に対応できるようになる可能性があるが、これは効率性の向上と見ることができるだろう。

今後について

第4次産業革命は既に始まっており、アルゴリズムとAIは遍在しているが、競争法の執行機関は、この新しい現実にどのように対処するかを決断するのに苦労している。既存の枠組みを打ち砕くようなテクノロジーが競争法に適応する必要があるかもしれない一方、競争法は新しい市場の現実を考慮に入らなければならない。また、執行機関は侵害発生の有無、およびどこで発生しているかを把握する必要がある。執行機関は、将来的に、自身が反競争的行為を検出するためにAIに頼る必要があるかもしれない。

AIとそのアプリケーションは、11月の新欧州委員会発足時に、優先課題の一つとなる可能性がある。 AIを使用するすべての市場参加者は、その政策課題が何をもたらすか注視するだろう。しかし、ビッグデータを収集する組織が最も警戒するであろう。

本稿を執筆するにあたりPedro García de Pesquera Villagránの協力を得た

GDPRの競争についていくために ―国際的視点からみた米国、欧州、中国及び日本におけるGDPRの進展―

Mark E. Schreiber | Ashley Winton | Romain Perray

第1部 イントロダクション

本調査報告書は、昨年発行された「The Race to GDPR(GDPRの競争)」と題する調査報告書のフォローアップ調査報告書である。本年度の調査では、調査対象を拡大し、米国と欧州に加えて初めて中国と日本を調査対象に含めた。本調査において調査対象とした組織は合計で1,263団体に及ぶ。

2018年5月25日に適用が開始されたEUの一般データ保護規則(以下、「GDPR」という。)は、他に類を見ないほど高い要求水準を定めており、全ての産業分野の組織における個人情報の取り扱いを大きく変えることとなった。本調査書は、欧州、米国、中国及び日本におけるGDPRの順守の実務的困難さと順守レベルの地域ごとの相違点を示すものである。

本フォローアップ調査は、McDermott Will & Emery法律事務所とその戦略的パートナーであるMWE China Law officesの後援により、各組織が、GDPRの新要件を満たす努力をしているにもかかわらず、満たせないままでいる課題について取り組む。本調査の参加者は、IT、ITセキュリティ、コンプライアンス、法務、データ保護室、プライバシーなど、様々な部署で働いている。なお、本調査に参加した全ての組織はGDPRの適用を受ける。

第2部 エグゼクティブ・サマリー(GDPRの進展とデータ侵害マネジメント)

GDPRへの対応は今も継続中である。大部分の組織が、GDPR対応のデッドラインである2018年5月25日に間に合わなかった。そのため、多くの組織では、GDPR対応予算を更新している。本調査に参加した組織の多くは、「GDPRへの対応に予想よりも長期間を要した」(回答者の54%)、「他のデータプライバシーやセキュリティ要件への対応と同じか、それ以上に困難だった」(回答者の80%)と報告している。また、大半の組織がGDPR対応予算を持っており(回答者の72%)、その約3分の1がGDPR対応予算を毎年更新する予定(回答者の35%)、あるいは期限の定めなく継続する予定(回答者の24%)としている。

調査報告書の全文(日本語版)は、こちらからご覧ください。

米国企業に対する支配を伴わない外国投資、および特定の米国不動産への外国投資についてのCFIUS審査権限の拡大

David J. Levine | Raymond Paretzky | Samuel (Sam) Everett Dewey

米国財務省は、対米外国投資委員会(CFIUS)の管轄権を拡大するために昨年可決された法律である外国投資リスク審査現代化法(FIRRMA)を「包括的に」実施する規則の草案を公表した。

2019年9月17日、米国財務省は、昨年可決された法案である2018年外国投資リスク審査現代化法(FIRRMA)を「包括的に」実施する規則草案を公表した。同規則草案によると、米国の国家安全保障への影響を判断するために米国における外国投資を審査する対米外国投資委員会(CFIUS)の管轄が拡大することになる。 FIRRMAは、CFIUSが米国企業に対する支配を伴わない外国投資、および特定の米国不動産への外国投資を審査できるようその権限を拡大した。FIRRMAは2020年2月13日までに当該規則を制定しなければならないと定めている。

FIRRMA施行以前は、CFIUSの審査管轄は、外国人による米国事業の支配につながる可能性のある取引に限定されていた。 FIRRMAは、以前は管轄外であった米国企業の支配を伴わない特定の外国投資および不動産取引についても審査できるようCFIUSの権限を拡大した。CFIUSの審査の結果、取引は、修正なしで進めるよう承認されるか、国家安全保障問題への影響を軽減する措置を講じることを条件として進めるよう承認されるか、または解決できない国家安全保障問題を理由として承認されないこととなる。新しい規則によって、経済界は、CFIUSが外国投資取引をどのように扱うかに関して、重要な明確性と予測可能性を得ることができるだろう。

FIRRMAは、CFIUSが届出と審査に関する申請手数料を設定すると規定するが、新たに提案された規則は申請手数料を定めていない。その代わり、財務省は、手数料に関する別の規則案については後日公表すると述べた。

規則の草案は、Proposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-Part-800およびProposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-Part-802Pから参照できる。 規則の草案に関するCFIUSの解説は、Proposed-FIRRMA-Regulations-FACT-SHEETおよびProposed-FIRRMA-Regs-FAQsから参照できる。
主要な規定の概要は次のとおりである。

「審査対象投資」のルール

FIRRMA施行前、CFIUSは、「審査対象取引」(covered transaction)と呼ばれる外国人による米国企業への支配を伴う投資(主に買収)を審査する権限を有していた。FIRRMAは、CFIUSの管轄権を拡大し、以下の (1)または(2)に該当する場合、外国人による米国企業に対する支配を伴わない特定の投資についても審査権限を与える。

(1) 投資によって外国人が以下のものを取得する場合

  • 重要な非公開技術情報にアクセスする権利
  • 取締役会または類似する運営組織の構成員、オブザーバーとなる権利、またはそれらの指名権、またはそれらに関する実質的な意思決定へ関与する権利
  • 米国市民の「機密個人データ」を使用、開発、取得、保管、または公開する権利
  • 「重要技術」を使用、開発、取得、または公開する権利
  • 「重要なインフラストラクチャ」を管理、運用、製造、または供給する権利

(2)米国の事業が以下に該当する場合

  • 1つまたは複数の「重要な技術」を生産、設計、試験、製造、生産、または開発する
  • 「重要なインフラストラクチャ」を所有、運営、製造、供給、または提供する
  • 米国の国家安全保障を脅かす方法で悪用される可能性のある米国市民の「機密個人データ」を保管または収集する

財務省は、提案する新2規則集のうち一つの規則集において、連邦規則集(CFR)の既存の31巻800条を修正し、上記のとおり強調された用語の定義をより明確にする。 新規則は、CFIUSが管轄を有する米国企業への支配を伴わない投資を「審査対象投資」と命名し、米国企業への支配を伴う投資を「審査対象支配取引」と改名した。旧用語「審査対象取引」については、これら双方の取引に加え、CFIUSの法を迂回または回避することを目的としたあらゆる取引を対象とする用語として、引き続き使用する。

新規則下においても、CFIUSが審査するほとんどの対象投資については、依然として、届出人が完全な届出書(notice)または5ページの簡易申告書(declaration)のいずれかを提出することにより、CFIUSに対し自主的に取引を届け出ることによってその審査が開始されるだろう。 ただし、FIRRMAに基づき、新規則は、外国政府が「実質的な利益」を持っている、または米国事業が重要な技術に関わっている特定の審査対象取引については、届出を義務付ける。 後者については、財務省は既にこのような審査対象投資の届出または申告を義務付ける「パイロットプログラム」を設けており、現時点において新規則はパイロットプログラムを修正するものではない。

FIRRMAも新規則案も、特定の国または国民を区別して扱うための「ホワイトリスト」または「ブラックリスト」を設けていない。ただし、新しい規則は、「審査対象外投資家」として適格な外国人(つまり、CFIUSが当該国による国家安全保障の保護を促進する特定の法律と慣行の維持及び遵守に基づき「対象外」と判断した国に関連している投資家)については、例外的に「審査対象投資」から除外することができる(ただし、「審査対象支配取引」からは除外されない)。

日本では、政府は、軍事、航空宇宙、原子力などのセンシティブ産業や、電気、ガス、通信、放送などの重要インフラにおけるFDIを審査するであろう。

イスラエルは、2019年初頭に、特にテクノロジー企業への中国の投資に対抗するために、FDI審査制度を採用すると発表した。
多くの国々でFDIの規制が厳しくなるというグローバルな傾向は、国際的な取引を行う企業にとって新たな規制上の障害を生み出す。そのため、外国投資家は、そのような取引に先立ち、届出を慎重に考慮し、審査要件と手続きをチェックする必要がある。FDIの届出が必要又は推奨される場合、FDIの審査手続は国際的な取引の時期やその他の戦略的要素に影響を与える可能性があるため、外国投資家はできる限り早くに当局と接触を取るべきである。

特定の不動産取引についてのルール

連邦規則集31巻802条を新しく制定する新規則集案の第2集で、財務省は、CFIUSが特定の不動産取引を審査することを許可するFIRRMAの規定を実施する。 具体的には、FIRRMAは、外国人による以下のいずれかに該当する私有または公共不動産のリースまたは営業権をCFIUSの管轄の範囲内とした。

  • 空港または海港であるか、それらの内部に存在するか、またはその一部として機能する
  • 米国の軍事施設または他の機密性の高い米国政府財産に「近接」している(つまり、1マイル以内にある)
  • 外国人に、機密性の高い米国政府財産における活動に関する情報収集を可能にする
  • 機密性の高い米国政府財産における国家安全活動を外国の監視リスクにさらす可能性がある

新規則案は、別表で、関連する軍事施設の名称と場所、米国運輸省が発行した関連空港と海港をリストアップしている。

新規則は、審査対象不動産取引についてCFIUSに対する届出義務を課すものではない。 むしろ、審査対象不動産取引の当事者は、CFIUSによる審査と承認を求めて、届出書または簡易申告書を自ら提出することができる。

「審査対象投資」と同様に、新しいCFIUSの不動産規則は、CFIUSが「例外不動産国」と指定する特定の国と特定の関係を有し、かつそれらの国の特定の国家安全保障関連法を遵守している一定の外国人については、「審査対象外不動産投資家」として審査対象の例外とする。また、新しい規則は、単一の居住ユニット、「都市化された地域」(urbanized area)の不動産、および複合商業オフィスビルのオフィススペースについては、他の例外として審査対象不動産取引の範囲から除外している。

当事者が審査対象取引および審査対象不動産取引に関して考慮すべき事項

両党の議員および行政機関の大きな支援を受けて制定されたFIRRMAは、CFIUSに幅広い裁量権を与えている。米国に対する外国投資に関連する取引を行うことを検討している場合、新しい規則が適用されるか、適用されるとしたらどのように適用されるかを判断するため、CFIUSの新規則の範囲を、米国の国家安全保障問題の政治的および実務的側面と共に慎重に検討する必要がある。

CFIUSは、当面、27の指定産業の1つに関連する重要な技術を持つ米国企業が関与する特定の審査対象取引について、届出とCFIUSの審査を義務付けるパイロットプログラムを継続するだろう。したがって、このような取引の当事者は、2018年10月にこのパイロットプログラムに関してCFIUSによって制定された暫定規則を引き続き遵守する必要がある(CFIUSパイロットプログラムについては、McDermottのWebsiteを参照されたい)。

第2巡回区控訴裁判所がFCPAの適用範囲に対する制限を否定

Paul M. Thompson | Sarah E. Walters | Michael S. Stanek

United States v. Ng Lap Sengにおける米国第2巡回区控訴裁判所の決定は、米国司法省によるFCPAの広範な適用範囲を強化するものであり、連邦政府にとっての勝利だ。プログラムを採用および実施する場合、グローバル企業は、自社のリスクになりうる行為を回避するための措置を引き続き講じる必要がある。

詳細

2019年8月9日、第2巡回区控訴裁判所は、United States v. Ng Lap Sengにおいて、最高裁判所のMcDonnell判決によって定められた制限を連邦海外腐敗行為防止法(FCPA)を含む他の連邦腐敗および贈収賄法に拡張することを拒んだ。第2巡回区控訴裁判所の決定は、検察官はFCPA違反を起訴するにあたり、最高裁判所が全員一致で連邦国内腐敗防止法の適用を制限した方法に拘束されないことを意味する。第2巡回区控訴裁判所の決定は連邦政府の勝利であり、司法省によるFCPAの広範な執行範囲を強化するものだ。

2018年、ニューヨーク南部地区の陪審員は、Ng Lap Sengに対し、Ngが中国のマカオで開発する不動産で国連年次会議を開催する確約を得るために2人の国連大使に100万ドル以上を支払ったことはFCPAに違反するとして、有罪判決を言い渡した。特に、Ngは、大使の一人に対し、名目上はSouth-South Newsと呼ばれるメディアの社長を務めることの報酬として毎月20,000ドルを支払っていたが、当該大使は、その支払いの一部はNgの開発中の不動産の使用への援助を取り付けるために支払われていることを理解していた。また、Ngは、別の大使の妻に対しコンサルティング費用を支払ったが、同妻は、実際にはそのようなサービスを行ったことがなかった。有罪判決の後、Ngは、陪審員の同氏のFCPA違反についての説明は、2016年の最高裁判所のMcDonell判決に照らし不十分であると主張して上訴した。

McDonnell判決において、最高裁判所は、公務員が行う「公的行為」に影響を与える目的で「何らかの価値あるもの(anything of value)」を提供することを罰する、合衆国法典18編201条の「公的行為」(Official act)の意義を検討した。最高裁判所は全員一致で、会議の開催、他の公務員との連絡、または経済発展などの広範な政策問題に関するイベントの開催にとどまる行為は、同法の「公式行為」には該当しないと判断した。最高裁が注目したのは法令の文言であり、判決の法的根拠となったのは次の2つである。第一に、201条における「公的行為」は、係属中または公務員の前に持ち込まれる「質問、問題、原因、訴訟、行政手続もしくは論争」に関連するものであるか、または聴聞、行政手続、もしくは訴訟と同種の政府の公権力行使を伴わなければならないとした。第二に、法令に違反したというためには、政府は公務員がその「公的行為」について決定しあるいは行動を起こしたことを証明しなければならないとした。

Ngは、上訴審において、FCPAに基づく贈収賄の訴追には、McDonell判決が提示した基準を満たす「公的行為」を証明する必要があると主張した。第2巡回区控訴裁判所は、McDonnell判決の拡張を否定した他の多くの巡回区控訴裁判所と同様に、FCPAにはそのような制限的要件はないと判断した。裁判所は、第一に、連邦法の「賄賂」という文言について統一的な定義はないと説明した。議会は一般的に「不正に公務員に対し『何らかの価値あるもの』を提供すること」を禁止している一方で、すべての連邦贈収賄法が「公的行為」を「賄賂に必要な対価」と規定しているわけではない。

FCPAは、以下の4つの目的で「外国の公務員に対し、何らかの価値あるものを不正に提供すること」を犯罪と規定する。第一に、「外国公務員が公的立場でなす行為または決定に影響を与える」目的。第二に、「外国公務員を、その者の合法的な義務に違反して作為または不作為をさせるよう誘因する」目的。第三に、「何らかの不適切な利益を確保する」目的。第四に、「外国公務員を、外国政府やその機関に対するその者の影響力を利用して、当該政府または機関の行為または決定に影響を与えるように誘引する」目的。第2巡回区控訴裁判所は、これらの4つの目的はFCPAにおける「対価」であり、「これらの対価が特定の目的に役立つ」こと(つまり、贈与者が取引を「取得」、「維持」、または「運営」できるよう補佐すること)がさらに必要であると説明した。したがって、第2巡回区控訴裁判所は、201条(a)(3)の「贈収賄の対価構成要件」に関するMcDonnell判決は、FCPAを含む「他の贈収賄法の対価構成要件の範囲を定める」ものではないと判断した。

検察官は現在、米国公務員に対する贈収賄事件に関して訴追できる行為の種類を制限されているが、第2巡回区控訴裁判所の判決は、FCPAの訴追に関しては、同様の制限が適用されないことを意味する。外国公務員への金銭支払または贈り物の供与が、その公務員による「公的行為」という結果に結びつかなくとも、それがその公務員に対し何らかの作為または不作為をするよう働きかけ、または誘因するために行われた場合、当該行為はFCPA違反となる可能性がある。FCPAの広範な適用範囲は第2巡回区控訴裁判所の判決後も変わらない。そのため、企業は、自社の法的リスクとなりうる不明確性を避けるために、引き続き企業方針と行動規範においてそのような金銭支払を禁止するよう明確に規定し、贈答品と謝礼の提供に関する上限を設定すべきである。

米ブロードコム社に対する仮処分: 眠れる手段の復活か?

Jacques Buhart | David Henry

欧州委員会(EC)は、米ブロードコム社(Broadcom)が支配的地位を濫用していることが疎明されたと判断した。そして、ブロードコムに対し、市場競争に対する重大かつ回復不能な損害が生じるおそれを回避するため、かかる濫用行為をほぼ即時に停止するよう命じた。 欧州委員会はこの18年間かかる措置を講じてこなかったが、今回を機にかかる措置の運用が再開される可能性がある。

EU競争法に基づく仮処分

欧州委員会による仮処分の発動はかなり珍しい。欧州司法裁判所がCamera Care判決(Case 792/79(1980))において、欧州委員会は仮処分を講じる権利を有すると判断して以来、欧州委員会は9回しか仮処分を発動していない。なお、それらのうち過半数は支配的地位の濫用の事案であった。

欧州委員会の仮処分を課す権利については、現在、理事会規則1/2003号第8条第1項において明文化されている。同第8条第1項によれば、競争法の侵害が疎明された場合(prima facie findingがあった場合)(要件1)で、市場競争に対する重大かつ回復不能な損害を生じるおそれを回避するために緊急の必要がある場合(要件2)という二つの要件が満たされた場合、欧州委員会は仮処分を課すことができる。しかしながら、特に「回復不能性(irreparability)」に関する立証責任を果たすことは非常に難しく、それゆえ、2019年10月16日に欧州委員会がブロードコムに対しその顧客6社との間の契約に含まれる特定の条項の適用を停止するよう命じるまでの間、同第8条第1項が発動されたことは一度もなかった。

ブロードコムの事案における仮処分

2019年6月、欧州委員会は、ブロードコムがセントラルオフィスやヘッドエンドと呼ばれる機器向けのチップセット及びコンポーネントに関する様々な市場における競争を、抱き合わせ(Tying)、バンドリング(Bundling)、排他条件(Exclusivity)を含む一定の行為によって制限していないかを審理するための調査を開始した。それと並行し、欧州委員会は、ブロードコムに対して、最終的な決定の有効性を確保するために、ブロードコムの行為のうちある一定の側面に関して仮処分の発動が必要になりうると暫定的に結論付ける異議告知書(Statement of Objections)を送付した。 そして2019年10月16日、欧州委員会は、ブロードコムに対して仮処分を課すことを正式に決定した。欧州委員会は、前述の理事会規則1/2003号第8条第1項の要件1及び要件2が満たされたと判断したのである。

要件1について

まず、ブロードコムがシステムオンチップの3つの異なる市場(TVセットトップボックス市場、ファイバーモデム市場、xDSLモデム市場)において支配的な地位を占めていることが疎明された。

そして、ブロードコムは、テレビセットトップボックス及びモデムのOEMメーカーのうち6社との間で反競争的条項を含む契約を締結したことにより、前述の3つの市場における支配的地位を濫用していることが疎明された。具体的には以下のような行為が問題視された。

  • ブロードコムは、市場支配を強化する意図をもって、もっぱら(あるいはほぼ)ブロードコムのみから調達することを合意した顧客への見返りとして、商業上の利益(リベートなど)を提供した。
  • ブロードコムは、上記の市場における支配をケーブルモデム向けシステムオンチップという別の市場において活用する意図をもって、ケーブルモデム向けシステムオンチップをもっぱら(あるいはほぼ)ブロードコムのみから購入することを合意した顧客への見返りとして、商業上の利益(リベートなど)を提供した。

要件2について

仮処分の緊急の必要性に関して、欧州委員会は、仮にブロードコムの行為の継続が許可されたとすれば、今後予定されているモデムおよびTVセットトップボックス用WiFi 6規格の導入に関連するものを含め、将来の多くの入札に悪影響を与える可能性があるとした。その結果、ほぼ確実に、他のチップセット供給業者はブロードコムと競合することができなくなり、最終的にはそれらの業者の疎外化や撤退につながる可能性がある。

そのため、欧州委員会は、委員会の決定から30日以内に、3年間にわたり、反競争的条項の適用を停止するとともに、他の契約においても同一の条項もしくは当該条項と同等の目的または効果を有するその他の条項を締結しないよう、ブロードコムに要求した。 当該事案の実質的な競争法調査は現在も継続中だ。

仮処分はなおも健在か?

理事会規則1/2003号第8条は、ブロードコムに対する仮処分決定において初めて用いられた。 最後に欧州委員会による仮処分が決定されたのは、2001年のIMS Healthの事案であり、18年前に遡る(決定は最終的に2003年に撤回された)。

これまで、欧州委員会はこの手続の使用を控えてきたが、これは、第8条第1項下の欧州委員会の重い立証責任が原因と説明できる。 ECの決定はその後に欧州司法裁判所で審理されるリスクが高いため、欧州委員会は仮処分の発動を各国の競争法規制当局(NCAs)に委ねてきた。NCAsが仮処分を課すときに負担する証明責任は、欧州委員会が負担する証明責任よりも軽いことが多い。たとえば、かかる権限がより頻繁に発動されるフランスにおいては、規制当局は競争への重大かつ即時の損害「のみ」証明すれば足りるが、これは、理事会規則1/2003号第8条第1項に明記されている「回復不能性」という概念よりも証明責任が軽いことを意味する。

しかし、第8条第1項の発動についての欧州委員会の控えめな態度は、もはや消えかかっているように見える。これは特に、急速に変化するテクノロジー市場に当てはまるが、それはおそらく(少なくともある程度は)、欧州委員会がグーグルショッピングの事案で結論を出すために非常に長い時間を費やしたために声高な批判を受けたことに起因するだろう。 実際に、ブロードコムに対する決定を受けて、競争政策担当委員であり「Europe fit for the digital age」(デジタル時代に適合した欧州)と呼ばれるポートフォリオのチーフコーディネーターであるMargrethe Vestager(マルグレーテ・ベステアー)は、急速に変化するテクノロジー市場において「迅速かつ効果的な方法で」競争ルールを執行するために、「この重要なツールを最大限に活用するよう現在尽力している」と警告した。 欧州委員会の心変わりをさらに示すものとして、競争総局(DG Comp)は、現在、すべての事案を積極的に審査し、仮処分の適用対象となるかどうかを確認している。 その際、欧州委員会は、この手続メカニズムに関してNCAsが有する多くの経験からインスピレーションを得ようとするだろう。

ブロードコムは欧州委員会の仮処分の決定を上訴したが、欧州委員会による仮処分メカニズムの再生には幾つかの利点がある。その1つは、欧州委員会が講じた仮処分は欧州連合中で効果を有するため、同一争点について加盟国同士が矛盾する立場をとるリスクを回避することができる点だ。他方で、仮処分が課されるスピードは多くの場合に非常に重要であるが、欧州委員会はブロードコムの事案で異議告知書(SO)の発行から仮処分決定まで3か月を要した。そのため、欧州委員会が手続を迅速化する方法を見つけない限り、効果は国内のみであるものの、数日中には仮処分を課すことが可能な国内の裁判所による仮処分を求める方が、依然として有利かもしれない。

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.