Postman Pat and… the law of merchandise

Back in 1994 the journalist Nick Davies wrote a fascinating piece about John Cunliffe, the creator of Postman Pat, who has just died. Davies described how Cunliffe sold his rights to his creation: “[Cunliffe] agreed that Woodland Animations could make films and produce merchandise, while he would still have the right to produce books providing they…

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Upcoming reform to German competition law regime?

It is reported that Germany’s Ministry of Economy will consider the results of a study which aimed at boosting the competition law tools available to German competition law authorities to act against companies, particularly in the digital economy. In particular, the study suggested that the threshold for regulatory intervention should be lowered in some cases,…

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Commission clears Hutchison takeover of Wind Tre

The European Commission has cleared CK Hutchison’s takeover of Italian telecoms group, Wind Tre, subject to CK Huthcison agreeing to take full responsibility for the conditions imposed on Wind Tre when it was created. These conditions relate to the completion of spectrum transfer and site divestment, and to the implementation of the national roaming agreement…

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The future of cryptocurrency and sport? UK Premier League football clubs set up Bitcoin wallets in eToro partnership

The 27th season of the Premier League kicked off earlier this month with the revelation that global investment and trading platform eToro had signed first-of-their-kind sponsorship deals with seven high-profile English Premier League clubs. Significantly, the press release confirmed that eToro will not pay for the sponsorship rights in regular ‘fiat’ currency, but in Bitcoin…

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New judgment on the communication to the public right

On 7 August the judgment in Case C-161/17 Land Nordrhein-Westfalen v Dirk Renckhoff was published. The judgment is in response to a preliminary reference which asked the following question: ‘Does the inclusion of a work — which is freely accessible to all internet users on a third-party website with the consent of the copyright holder — on…

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Digital Services and Antitrust

It has been reported today that the UK Government sees free-to-use digital services as raising antitrust issues. In a response to a House of Lords Select Committee on Communications inquiry, UK advertising in a digital age, the Government indicates that “digital services – particularly those that are free-to-use and funded by advertising – pose challenges…

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Practical competition policy implications of digital platforms

Diane Coyle has published a fascinating paper on potential reform to competition policy to address issues caused by digital platforms. The paper is available here an interesting read. Issues addressed in the paper include: Difficulties defining a multi-sided platform. Undue focus upon short-term pricing elements in competition assessments. The impact of dominance in the digital…

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