Germán Oscar Johannsen

Doctoral Student and Junior Research Fellow

Intellectual Property and Competition Law


Areas of Interest:

Competition Law and Policy, Regulatory Economics, Internet Regulation, Legal Implications of the Data-Driven Economy, Consumer Protection, Digitization and Democracy, Political Economy, Legal Theory

Academic Résumé

since 2018
Doctoral Student and Junior Research Fellow
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl, LL.M. (Berkeley)

2016 – 2017
Master of Laws in Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC)

Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Public Law, Universidad de Chile

Postgraduate Diploma in Competition Law and Policy, Universidad de Chile.

2003 – 2009
Bachelor of Laws, Universidad Católica de Chile

Work Experience

2013 – 2016
Senior Prosecutor, Litigation Division
National Economic Prosecutor’s Bureau, Santiago (Chile)

2010 – 2013
Associate, Economic Law & Dispute Resolutions
Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana, Law Firm, Santiago (Chile)


Books and Monographs

Conscious Parallelism and Price Discrimination in the Era of Algorithms: A Case of Collective Abuse of Dominance? (MIPLC Master Thesis Series (2016/17)) 2017, 85 pp.

  • One of the main concerns for competition in the era of algorithms and big data is the proliferation of oligopolies in the digital economy. However, their emergence will depend on how other characteristics of the e-commerce sector will rise in the future. This paper assumes that new forms of discrimination like personalized pricing will increase exponentially, so in the future any eventual parallel pricing scenario will perhaps, to some extent, be part of a price discrimination scheme. By modelling different hypothetical cases, this report will attempt to demonstrate that it is adequate to analyze both phenomena as one single offense, to determine whether they can fall under the prohibition of Art. 102 TFEU. Thus, while the conscious parallelism may serve to establish collective dominance, the requirement of an abuse to configure the infringement would eventually be satisfied by the discriminatory conduct, in case harm is proved. In addition, the parallel behavior should be taken as a relevant element to determine whether the discrimination is abusive.
  • Available at SSRN

Journal Articles

Position Statement of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition of 2 May 2023 on the Implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), GRUR Int 72, 9 (2023), 864 - 875 (together with Josef Drexl et al.). DOI

Constitutionality of the Financial Liability of Firm Executives and Publication of Their Names on Infringement Decisions, GRUR Int 69, 8 (2020), 870 - 878. DOI

    Research Papers

    Net Neutrality & Big Tech: Diverging Trends in (De)regulatory Times (forthcoming), MPI Research Series 2024,.2024.

      Digital Platforms & Economic Dependence in Chile - Any Room for Competition Theories of Harm without Dominance?, 2021, 32 pp. (together with Andres Gonzalez-Atala). DOI

      • Digital platforms may generate economic dependence on their trading partners, with a double effect. Downstream, it may result in the exploitation of weaker parties that cannot compete on an equal footing against bigger ones. Horizontally, economic dependence may raise entry barriers since the platform’s trading partners cannot switch to a different platform without engaging in significant costs, which might result in a lock-in effect. If so, due to the economics of platforms, the market may tend towards tipping scenarios in which one player—the winner—takes the whole market. As already alerted by several reports worldwide, in the digital context, these threats can rapidly become real harms. Against this backdrop and considering that Latin America is witnessing the advent and rapid growth of digital platforms in different markets, this paper explores whether one of this region’s jurisdictions—Chile—is prepared to address these new threats. Considering a distinction between two types of economic power—dominant power and uneven bargaining power—and the effects that economic dependence may generate on the market’s functioning, the paper maps four possible harmful scenarios: dominance with anticompetitive effects; no-dominance without anticompetitive effects; no-dominance with horizontal anticompetitive effects; no-dominance with up/downstream anticompetitive effects. We argue that the Chilean legal framework—i.e., unfair competition law (Law 20.169) and competition law (DL 211)—has sufficient scope to address all but the last scenario. Regarding the latter, a legal modification would be necessary.

      EU-Merger Control in Big Data-Related Mergers (Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 19-05), 2019, 74 pp. (together with Jörg Hoffmann).

      • The main focus of the Commission’s last decade decisional practice in big data mergers has been on identifying possible harming effects of the control over exclusive information (absolute foreclosure scenario). Thereby it has centred its analysis on the assessment of the overall availability of data post-merger and thus mostly found no concerns due to the ubiquity and non-rivalrous nature of data. However these considerations were too short-sighted as additional competition concerns may arise when the accumulation of large piles of data from a huge multitude of sources by digital conglomerates leads to such an advantage that competitors will not be able to match anymore, increasing the likelihood of further anti-competitive strategies (relative foreclosure scenario). Accordingly, the paper firstly addresses the need for information centric reference points for the analysis of data induced significant impediments of competition (SIEC). It then analyses the approach taken by the Commission so far, identifies the shortcomings and establishes a theory of harm that takes the efficiency offense doctrine and the financial power and portfolio effect theories of harm as a reference point and relate it to a relative foreclosure strategy of the merged group that is specific to data induced SIEC. The distinction of these two foreclosure scenario levels serves as the basis for further discussion on adequate remedies to tackle the two types of data-induced harming effects. The paper then indulges into the intersection of competition law and data protection law and analyses the potential need for a distinction between personal and non-personal data due to the fact that data protection law might be considered a normative factual remedy that renders personal data specific competition concerns post-merger unnecessary. This is then followed by a parallel analysis related to ex-ante data access regimes being normative factual remedies, e.g. the access to account rule under the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). It then stresses the need for considering formal elements such as conditional remedies that tackle potential issues of a lack of foreseeability due to high market dynamics before examining the efficiency and feasibility of a data sharing commitment for both absolute and relative foreclosure scenarios. As essential facility considerations cannot be analogously applied in relative foreclosure cases we take recourse to criteria that were established for measuring conglomerate power structures. Accordingly in relative foreclosure scenario cases we establish two requirements that need to be fulfilled by the undertaking seeking access to data in order to confine a potential erga omnes right and make data sharing legally obtainable.
      • Available at SSRN


      Position Statement of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition of 2 May 2023 on the Implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), 2023, 33 pp. (together with Josef Drexl et al.).

      • Regulation (EU) 2022/1925 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2022 on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector (Digital Markets Act; DMA) entered into force on 1 November 2022 and applies from 2 May 2023. The DMA is a novel type of regulation laying down harmonised rules for core platform services provided or offered by gatekeepers to business users and end users established or located in the Union. It pursues the objective of achieving fairness and contestability in the digital sector across the Union where gatekeepers are present.
        In its position statement of 2 May 2023, the Institute acknowledges that uniform rules throughout the European Union and centralised enforcement are necessary to prevent internal market fragmentation and welcomes the first Commission Implementing Regulation for the DMA of 14 April 2023. However, it remains concerned by the DMA’s unique institutional design and its interaction with other laws as outlined under Articles 1(5), 1(6) and 1(7).
        In particular, the Institute raises awareness about the possible overly broad blocking effects of the DMA on national rules, which may have the unintended consequences of privileging gatekeepers by jeopardizing future national legislative initiatives. This ultimately obstructs the achievement of contestability and fairness in digital markets. A complementary application of the competition rules and effective enforcement of the DMA is, against this backdrop, crucial. Yet there is uncertainty over administrative enforcement mechanisms, and it is unclear what role private enforcement plays in the current legal design of the DMA. The position statement identifies and examines challenges in the implementation of the DMA, along with recommendations for overcoming them.
      • Position_Statement_MPI_DMA.pdf
      • Also published as: Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 23-11
      • Also published in: GRUR International, Volume 72, Issue 9, September 2023, Pages 864–875

      Vanguardia Alemana en Libre Competencia. Comentario al Proyecto de Ley de Digitalización GWB-10, 2020.

      Further Publications, Press Articles, Interviews

      Competencia dinámica en tiempos de IA generativa: Licencias abiertas y cerradas como factor competitivo, Centro Competencia 2023.

      La Ley De Mercados Digitales de la Unión Europea (DMA) - Podcast, 2023.

      La Ley de Mercados Digitales entra al Juego ¿Cómo conversará con otras áreas del derecho europeo?, Centro Competencia 2023.

      ChatGPT ¿Novedades para la libre competencia?, Centro Competencia 2023.

      Riesgo de tipping como abuso unilateral sin dominancia: El caso de las plataformas inmobiliarias en Berlín, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Economía de Datos & Tratados de Libre Comercio ¿Dónde está Chile?, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Economía de datos & discriminación de precios: la importancia de estudiar la estructura del mercado, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Neutralidad Competitiva y Nueva Constitución, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Fallas de Mercado y Nueva Constitución, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Datos: propiedad, control y acceso ¿Cuándo, cómo y por qué regular?, Centro Competencia 2022.

      ¿Por qué competimos?, Centro Competencia 2022.

      La Labor del Juez según Carrère: Notas sobre justicia y libre mercado desde la literatura, Centro Competencia 2022.

      5G y el Futuro de Internet: Un balance entre neutralidad y competencia, Centro Competencia 2022.

      Una Propia Narrativa, Centro Competencia 2021.

      ¿Quién controla los datos en los mercados digitales? Y cómo ello impacta en la innovación y la competencia, Centro Competencia 2021.

      ¿Acuerdos de Cooperación Verde o Greenwashing? Cuándo sí y cuándo no, según la Comisión Europea, Centro Competencia 2021.

      Agencias de Competencia versus Gigantes Tecnológicos: la Contienda es Desigual, Centro Competencia 2021.


      • Academic Society of Competition Law (ASCOLA)
      • Max Planck Law Forum Latin-America
      • Chilean Bar Association

      Workshop Organization

      December 2022
      Data Sharing & Climate Action in Brazil
      Mackenzie University, Sao Paulo (together with Carolina Banda)

      June 2022
      Shaping the Internet for the Future
      Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich (together with Shraddha Kulhari and Giulio Matarazzi)


      Since 2020
      - Merger Control in the Data Economy 
      - Exploitative Abuses in Digital Markets
      - Google’s Business Model and Unilateral Abuses

      Visiting Lecturer, Postgraduate Diploma in Competition Law, Universidad Católica, Faculty of Law
      Location: Santiago (Chile)

      2017 – 2020
      Tutoring for LL.M. Courses
      Munich Intellectual Property Law Center
      Location: Munich

      Selected Presentations

      Digital Platforms & Economic Dependence in Chile: Any Room for Competition Theories of Harm without Dominance?
      16th Annual Conference of ASCOLA
      Location: Universidade do Porto, Portugal (online)

      Too Much Data. Too Good to be Good?
      MIPLC ALUMNI Conference
      Location: Literaturhaus München, Munich

      Big Data and Merger Control - an Appraisal of Data Induced Theories of Harm and Remedies
      14th Annual Conference of ASCOLA
      Location: Univsersité Aix/Marseille, France