More on digital mergers?

EPISODE 33

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Between them GAFA have made more than 400 acquisitions over just the last 10 years. With the benefit of hindsight, many of these acquisitions have been portrayed as strategic or killer acquisitions, designed to snuff out potential or emergent competitive threats.

Recognising this, there is a growing view that competition authorities must be more prepared to protect competitive market structures and to do so may require changes in the approach taken to error cost and counterfactual assessments in merger review.

In this episode our guest is Dr Paolo Buccirossi, Founder and Director of the economics consultancy, Lear. Lear has undertaken a first-of-its kind report for the UK Competition and Markets Authority involving ex post assessment of a series of mergers in the digital sector that were cleared.  We discuss the report’s key findings and consequent recommendations for future merger practice.

The report also reviews the theories of harm typically examined by competition authorities in such cases and considers their consistency with the burgeoning economic literature in this area. While we did not canvas these parts of the report in the episode, they are definitely recommended reading.

You can find the Lear report here.

Featuring regular cut-through interviews with leading thinkers, movers and shakers, Competition Lore is a podcast series that engages us all in a debate about the transformative potential and risks of digitalised competition.

Join Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, to tackle what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society.

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