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Antitrust in two-sided markets: looking at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Amex case from an EU perspective

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In a case that may have significant implications for the antitrust assessment of two-sided platforms, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that American Express’s clauses prohibiting stores from incentivising consumers to use other credit cards did not violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act. These are known as ""anti-steering"" clauses. This contrasts with the EU approach to such clauses, which are prohibited by EU financial regulation since 2009. The American Express case also illustrates differences in the assessment of such clauses under U.S. and EU antitrust laws, especially when it comes to market definition, the impact of "two-sidedness" on the assessment of harm and efficiencies,and the ancillary restraint doctrine."

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