The coming year promises to be a testing one, with technology increasingly in enforcers’ sights, the climate emergency front and centre, and a strong focus on consumer benefit and redress. A sophisticated understanding of the antitrust environment is therefore more important than ever.

Today we published our 10th annual review of key trends in global antitrust, which explores these and other themes of key importance to business in the coming year.

Digital technology has raised questions ranging from whether existing laws and enforcement tools are still fit for purpose to how antitrust should interact with data protection law. 

At the same time it is spawning new theories of harm, and artificial intelligence is opening up new opportunities both for collusion and for detection of wrongdoing. 

Distribution arrangements involving e-commerce via platforms are also receiving a lot of attention, with the EU rules currently undergoing a thorough review.

Another hot topic is collaborative innovation to combat the climate crisis. As the range of 'green' products and services widens, producers will need to work together and agree common standards to help consumers make informed and sustainable choices - all the while avoiding antitrust infringements.

In 2020, businesses need to:

  • be antitrust compliant in all jurisdictions, in particular taking into account the enforcement focus on data and platforms;
  • keep supply and distribution arrangements under review, especially in the light of changes anticipated in the EU regime;
  • if engaged in 'green' collaboration, be prepared to push back against the narrow approach of some authorities to consumer welfare; and
  • be ready to defend against private litigation, including mass claims brought by large groups of consumers.

Throughout the year we will be holding a number of events to discuss the implications of these and other developments. If you are interested in joining our discussions, do get in touch.