AdC strengthens its toolbox to promote competition and facilitate the detection of anticompetitive behavior in digital markets
Press Release 33/2022
December 21, 2022
The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC – Autoridade de Concorrência) has been diversifying its toolbox to promote competition and to facilitate the detection and reporting of indicia of anticompetitive behavior in the digital sector.
Through data collection and analysis tools (web scraping) and the creation of communication channels with stakeholders, the AdC strengthened its ability to detect anticompetitive behavior and barriers to entry in digital markets.
Until November 2022, the AdC analyzed around 20 complaints in the digital sector. The proceedings resulted, so far, in the opening of 2 investigations:
An investigation for possible abuse of a dominant position by Google in digital advertising, which is now being investigated by the European Commission, and an investigation for resale price maintenance (RPM) in the digital space, in the pharmaceutical/health sector, which resulted in a sanction with a settlement procedure.
To foster communication channels, the AdC adopted a set of proactive initiatives to reach out to stakeholders in the digital sector. In November 2021, the AdC promoted a call for information and a questionnaire to online retailers of electronic products and home appliances.
These initiatives aimed to collect information about the use of monitoring and pricing algorithms in Portugal and potential vertical restrictions imposed by suppliers on e-commerce vendors.
The AdC published a policy brief highlighting these initiatives and developments regarding its enforcement activity in the digital markets.
The digital markets have remained one of the AdC’s priorities. The AdC has set up a task force for the sector following the publication of its 2019 Digital Issues Paper.