‘Technological predation’ — part II: competition concern relating to Nespresso

By Sophie Lawrance

It seems that my recent post on ‘predatory technology/innovation’ has touched a nerve. The theme has been taken up not only on the 21st Century Competition blog (to which I referred in my original post), but also by the blog of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), which has reacted to the idea with something approaching horror.

Whether or not the concept of predatory innovation is in fact a ‘legal godzilla’, as the ARI blog suggests, it is one that has in the last week been at least implicitly embraced by the French Competition Authority (FCA), which has accepted commitments (subject to market testing) from Nespresso in relation to alleged exclusionary practices concerning its coffee machines and capsules.

The competition concern relates to Nespresso conduct designed to ensure that customers purchase only Nespresso capsules, and not ‘generic’ competitor products…

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