Read the background note
| 16 June 2023 - 10:00-13:00 CET OECD Conference Centre, Paris
Mergers in digital markets have been much discussed in recent years, following the growing concerns around the acquisition strategies of major tech platforms. In parallel to the well-known debate on killer acquisitions and notification thresholds, new questions started to emerge on the suitability of existing theories of harm for an effective assessment of mergers in digital markets.
Specific features of digital mergers, such as the prominent role of platform ecosystems relying on strong network effects, high quality algorithms, economies of scale and data-driven economies of scope, might bring into question the ability of traditional theories of harm to reflect the real competitive harm that may result from the merger. Therefore, in order to ensure that anticompetitive transactions can be captured under the current standards for merger review, competition authorities might need to fine-tune their theories of harm or develop new ones. On the other hand, calls to modify the existing legal framework have also been made in recent years, signalling the need for a profound reflection around merger control in digital markets.
In June 2023 the OECD will hold a roundtable that will discuss the theories of harm currently used in the analysis of digital mergers and the potential need for new ones, that could better allow competition authorities to meet the standard of proof when assessing anticompetitive mergers.
All related documentation will become available on this page.
See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition.
Luís Cabral Bio
Annabelle Gawer Bio
Viktoria Robertson Bio
OECD Background Note | Note de référence de l'OCDE
Contributions from participating delegations
Related best practice roundtables
Start-ups, killer acquisitions and merger control (2020)
Competition Economics of Digital Ecosystems (2020)
Quality considerations in the zero-price economy (2018)
Non-price effects of mergers (2018)
Merger control in dynamic markets (2019)
Conglomerate effects of mergers (2020)
The concept of potential competition (2021)
Ex Ante Regulation and Competition in Digital Markets (2021)
Rethinking the use of traditional antitrust enforcement tools in multi-sided markets (2017)
Vertical mergers in the technology, media and telecom sector (2019)
OECD best practice roundtables on competition