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Edited by Gaetano Dimita, Jon Festinger and Marc Mimler

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Felix Hilgert

Consumers in the EU have a discretionary withdrawal right for online transactions. For 14 days (or longer, if they have not been properly informed of this right), they can cancel the contract and claim a refund. This right is generally mandatory and can only be contractually waived in advance in contracts for the provision of digital content. German courts have handed down a series of judgments confirming that virtual in-game currency qualifies as digital content for the purpose of this exception and clarifying the conditions under which such waivers can be obtained. Most decisions indicate waiver language can be integrated into the purchase flow prior to the final purchase decision, with some courts requiring a separate checkbox. One decision would force providers to implement separate consent mechanisms after the consumer has made the purchase but before the virtual currency is made available to them. In any event, implementing the requirements set out by German courts also requires the cooperation of distribution platforms.

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Ricky Versteeg and Alexandra Malina

A new collective actions regime for competition damages claims was introduced in the UK in 2015. Although seven proposed collective proceedings have been brought since that time, none have, as yet, continued beyond the certification stage, and no further cases are likely to proceed to a full certification hearing pending an appeal to the Supreme Court in the Merricks v Mastercard proceedings in 2020. It is, therefore, an opportune time to take stock of the new regime. This article explores the development of the regime to date, considers what lies ahead, and assesses the overall status and progress of the regime. It is suggested that the forthcoming Supreme Court appeal in Merricks provides a welcome opportunity both to build on the significant progress that has already been made on a number of key aspects of the new procedure over the past four years, and to redress some of the legal and policy implications of the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Merricks proceedings, which risk undermining the important ‘gatekeeping’ function afforded to the Competition Appeal Tribunal under the legislation. The UK collective proceedings regime ought then to be on a strong footing to resume, albeit its development will remain necessarily iterative and cumulative as further important aspects of the new regime are considered by the CAT and appellate courts over the coming years.

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Edited by Sarah Long, Andrew North and Matthew O'Regan

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Peter Wantoch, Riccardo Ferrari, Joel Bamford and Maria João Duarte

The Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) assesses both the price and the non-price effects of mergers. The relative importance of each depends on the process of rivalry between the merging firms and their competitors. Dynamic non-price effects, for instance on innovation, are potentially important, as the CMA found in the ICE/Trayport merger, which was prohibited. Non-price parameters such as quality, range and service are also important and are considered in particular when mergers occur in markets where price competition is limited, for example public services such as hospitals and regulated markets such as pharmacies.

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Andrea Rizzi, Nicoletta Serao and Liam Nowak

As the International Olympic Committee is considering whether Esports can and should qualify as sports, Esports events are becoming bigger and bigger worldwide, attracting fans as well as sponsors and investors looking for opportunities in this fast-developing economic sector. However, at a global level, the regulatory framework applicable to Esports tournaments is often fragmented and uncertain. This is the case in Italy, where an inadequate regulatory framework is likely to act as a disincentive for investors and, in particular, international investors. This article explores the regulatory pitfalls of the Italian legal ecosystem looking at other countries’ experiences (South Korea and France) from a comparative perspective.

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Edited by Gaetano Dimita, Jon Festinger and Marc Mimler

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Marcus Smith

The deployment of complex expert economic evidence is a common feature of competition litigation. However, fundamental differences in thinking between lawyers and economists may have a bearing on the content and presentation of that evidence. This article considers the respective roles of lawyers and economists in competition litigation in the High Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and how those roles interlink in practice.

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Alex Schofield

Personalized pricing can have negative or positive effects for consumers. Concerns are more likely to arise in circumstances where there is limited competition, or where consumers are unaware of, do not understand, and/or cannot avoid personalization. In some circumstances, personalization may be unfair or otherwise illegal under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 or other legislation. It may also distort competition and give rise to consumer harm and thereby infringe UK or EU competition law, or cause markets to not work effectively and therefore justify a market study or investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) under the Enterprise Act 2002. This article considers how the CMA will tackle personalized pricing that may distort competition in digital markets.

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Vanessa Mak, Eric Tjong Tjin Tai and Anna Berlee

This book deals with one of the most important scientific developments of recent years, namely the exponential growth of data science. More than a savvy term that rings of robotics, artificial intelligence and other terms that for long were regarded as part of science-fiction, data science has started to become structurally embedded in scientific research. Data, meaning personal data as well as information in the form of digital files, has become available at such a large scale that it can lead to an expansion of knowledge through smart combinations and use of data facilitated by new technologies. This book examines the legal implications of this development. Do data-driven technologies require regulation, and vice versa, how does data science advance legal scholarship? Defining the relatively new field of data science requires a working definition of the term. By data science we mean the use of data (including data processing) for scientific research. The availability of massive amounts of data as well the relatively cheap availability of storage and processing power has provided scientists with new tools that allow research projects that until recently were extremely cumbersome if not downright impossible. These factors are also often described with the term ‘big data’, which is characterized by three Vs: volume, velocity and variety.The term data science is nonetheless broader, because it can also refer to the use of data sets that are large but still limited—and therefore, unlike big data, of a manageable size for processing.