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Mergers in Big Tech

Mergers

The EU Commission decides to review a merger in the market of music recognition applications for smartphones (Apple / Shazam)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission to assess the acquisition of Shazam by Apple* The European Commission has accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission considers the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint undertaking subject to remedies in the taxi market (Yandex / Uber)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS cleared merger between Yandex.Taxi and Uber, subject to conditions* On November 24, 2017 FAS agreed on the application of the Yandex N.V., Uber International C.V. for conclusion of an agreement on the creation of joint enterprise, subject to conditions. The results of analysis of the (...)

The EU Commission fines a social network company for providing misleading information during the merger investigation (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines Facebook €110 million for providing misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for providing incorrect or misleading information during its investigation on a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On May 18, 2017, the European Commission (the “Commission”) fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during its 2014 investigation of its acquisition of WhatsApp The magnitude of the fine dwarfs the few penalties the Commission has imposed in the past for (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the e-book online platform market (Rakuten / Tolino)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of "tolino" e-book platform by Rakuten* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by the Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. of the assets for the technical operation of the "tolino" e-book platform. The seller of the assets is Deutsche Telekom AG, (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a social network suspected of having transmitted misleading informations concerning a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunication market (Vodafone Thuis / T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of Vodafone Thuis by T-Mobile* Telecom provider T-Mobile is allowed to acquire the fixed-telecom division of Vodafone Netherlands. Vodafone has branded this division ‘Vodafone Thuis,’ which offers services for fixed telephony, TV, and internet. The Netherlands Authority (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority accepts to proceed with a fast track reference of the merger to phase 2 concerning a merger involving the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services (BT / EE)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
BT/EE merger fast-tracked to phase 2 investigation* The CMA has today referred BT Group plc’s anticipated acquisition of EE Limited for an in-depth phase 2 investigation. BT and EE are, respectively, the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services in (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears an acquisition in the social media sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information On 3 October 2014 the European Commission ("Commission") unconditionally clears in first phase the €14 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook (the “Transaction”). The Transaction was already conditionally authorized in April 2014 by the US Federal Trade Commission (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves in first phase an acquisition in the digital sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
European Commission (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"What’s Up with Merger Control in the Digital Sector? Lessons from the Facebook/WhatsApp EU merger case"* The Facebook/WhatsApp decision provides an insight into how the Commission tackles novel issues in the application of merger control rules to the digital sector, in particular to free (...)

The EU Commission approves without commitments an acquisition in the recent information technology sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Squire Patton Boggs (Brussels)
EU Commission approves Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp* On 3 October 2014, the European Commission of the European Union (the “Commission”) approved the acquisition without any commitments. After the approval of the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft in 2011 and of the acquisition of Nokia by (...)

The UK OFT clears acquisition in the broadcasting sector (BT / ESPN)
DLA Piper
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared British Telecoms plc’s (BT) proposed acquisition of ESPN Global Ltd (ESPN), despite finding that the failing firm defence was not fulfilled. Factual Background ESPN was a wholly owned subsidiary of the US based television sports broadcaster ESPN (...)

The Competition Commission of India rules on anomaly of asset acquisitions under Indian merger control (AICA / Intel)
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
This article analyses the treatment of asset acquisitions under India’s merger control regime in light of certain specific precedents set by the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) in its assessment of merger notifications to date. Under the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”), acquisitions of (...)

The UK OFT decides not to refer an anticipated acquisition in the social networking industry to the Competition Commission (Facebook/Instagram)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
In May 2012 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) opened a merger investigation into the acquisition by Facebook Inc (Facebook) of Instagram Inc (Instagram). This was the first time a merger involving Facebook, the global colossus in the social networking industry, publicly came under the scrutiny (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM approves acquisition subject to what some observers believe were over-cautious conditions linked to a lack of experience and institutional resources (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Sheppard Mullin (Beijing)
China’s MOFCOM Grapples With Open Source Issues In Google-Motorola Deal* This past February the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and European Commission (“Commission”) cleared Google Inc.’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. without any conditions. In contrast, on May 19, 2012 the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM approves an acquisition subject to conditions in the IT industry (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
On 19 May 2012, the PRC Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") approved the acquisition by Google Inc. of Motorola Mobility, Inc. under the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"), but imposed conditions to require that Google continue to license the Android operating system and the patents acquired from (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears an acquisition in the smartphone and smartphone operating system sectors (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Institute of American Studies
China’s Ministry of Commerce Conditionally Clears the Google/Motorola Mobility Deal* On 19 May 2012, China’s Ministry of Commerce (‘MOFCOM’) announced its conditional clearance decision on the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google, which removed the last hurdle for the USD12.5 billion (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM again uniquely imposes AML conditions on a transaction in the smartphone sector (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti
The notification for Google‘s acquisition of Motorola Mobility was submitted to China’s Ministry of Commerce on 30 September 2011. It was ultimately accepted on 21 November 2011 by MOFCOM after supplementation. At the expiration of the Phase III, or extended Phase II, period, on 19 May 2012, (...)

The US DoJ closes its investigation regarding the acquisition of patents and applications from leading smartphone hardware manufacturer (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Womerang
“Honor your commitments” - The patent gatekeeping problem after antitrust regulators in the United States and the European Union cleared Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s patent pool* On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the Division) announced its decision to (...)

The European Commission clears the acquisition of a smartphone and tablet manufacturer’s patent pool by a leading smartphone operating system developer (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Womerang
“Honor your commitments” - The patent gatekeeping problem after antitrust regulators in the United States and the European Union cleared Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s patent pool* On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the Division) announced its decision to (...)

The US DoJ clears acquisition involving standards-essential patents relevant to wireless devices (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. DOJ clears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and other transactions involving standards-essential patents* On 13 February 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the closing of investigations concerning the acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (“Motorola (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority unconditionally clears the acquisition of the hard disk drive business of a leading IT company (Seagate/Samsung)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (the “Board”) has unconditionally authorized the acquisition of the control over the Hard Disk Drive (“HDD”) of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (“Samsung”) by Seagate Electonics PLC (“Seagate”; “Samsung” and “Seagate” hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”) by concluding that, even (...)

The US DoJ issues statements regarding the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in the mobile wireless telecommunications industry (AT&T/T-Mobile)
University of Berkeley
AT&T officially ends plans to acquire T-Mobile USA* As a reaction to the DOJ’s antitrust actions AT&T has now officially abandoned its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA for approx. $ 39 billion. In a news release from the 19th December 2011 AT&T said, that “after a thorough review of (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves merger between hard disk drive (HDD) companies (Samsung / Seagate)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has approved Seagate’s acquisition of the hard drive disk division of Samsung Electronics ("Samsung HDD") under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"), but imposed conditions to ensure that Samsung, although controlled by Seagate, remains an independent competitor. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves a merger between two leading hard drive disks manufacturers (Seagate / Samsung)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has approved Seagate’s acquisition of the hard drive disk division of Samsung Electronics ("Samsung HDD") under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"), but imposed conditions to ensure that Samsung, although controlled by Seagate, remains an independent competitor. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves the acquisition of the HDD business of a Korean electronics company by a US competitor (Seagate / Samsung)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Hong Kong)
Companies contemplating global mergers,acquisitions and joint ventures should be aware that the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China’s antitrust agency tasked with merger control, is increasingly imposing competition remedies exceeding those required by the European Commission, U.S. Federal (...)

The US DoJ closes its investigation and gives green light to $400 M acquisition in the advertising display industry (Google/Admeld)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
DOJ closes investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc.* On December 2, 2011 the DOJ announced its decision to close the investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc. allowing Google to complete its $ 400 million merger. The DOJ’s investigation focused on the potential (...)

The US DoJ requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a popular generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information services provider (Google / ITA)
Economists Incorporated (San Francisco)
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Economists Incorporated (Washington)
On July 1, 2010, Google Inc. (“Google”) and ITA Software, Inc. (“ITA”) announced an agreement for Google to acquire ITA for $700 million. On April 8, 2011, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it would allow the proposed acquisition subject to certain conditions. DOJ filed a complaint (...)

The US DOJ demands conduct remedies from two strong competitors in related markets before approving a vertical merger that will allow the combined company to enter into the online travel search market (Google / ITA)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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United Airlines
U.S. antitrust agencies, in a flurry of recent actions, have reinvigorated vertical merger enforcement, claiming competitive harm from what, in the past, would potentially have been viewed as efficiency-enhancing vertical integration. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”), in particular, has (...)

The US DoJ imposes conduct remedies, including "FRAND" licensing, before approving a vertical merger with anticompetitive concerns in the comparative-flight-search industry (Google / ITA)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

The US DoJ requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a popular generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information services provider (Google / ITA)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

Seven US States join US DoJ in suit to block the proposed combination of two of the four largest providers of mobile wireless telecommunications services (AT&T/T-Mobile)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Seven States Join U.S. in Suit to Block AT&T’s Acquisition of T-Mobile* The Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington have signed on to the U.S. Justice Department’s complaint challenging AT&T, Inc.’s proposed $39 billion (...)

The US DoJ announces challenge to proposed combination of two of the four largest providers of mobile wireless telecommunications services (AT&T/T-Mobile)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
AT&T’s Planned Acquisition of T-Mobile Challenged by Justice Department* The U.S. Department of Justice today moved to block AT&T Corporation’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. According to the Justice Department, the proposed acquisition would combine two of the four largest (...)

The US DoJ allows acquisition of the leading airfare pricing provider by the largest Internet search provider with settlement reflecting antitrust enforcement trends (Google / ITA)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
On October 5, 2011, following a public comment period, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its final judgment approving the requirements Google and ITA Software have agreed to in order to address the U.S. Department of Justice’s alleged anticompetitive concerns stemming (...)

The US DOJ clears an acquisition subject to conditions in the IT industry (Google / ITA)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that, to allow Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software, DOJ and the parties have agreed to a set of requirements that will govern Google’s future operation of the ITA business. This action is notable as another challenge to a vertical merger and (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves the proposed acquisition of an IT security company by the world leading CPU manufacturer (Intel / McAfee)
J G Associates (Brussels)
Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* Also on 26 January 2011, the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of McAfee, a vendor of information technology security, by Intel, both of the US. The approval is conditional on a set of commitments ensuring fair (...)

The European Commission approves a merger between two US software companies subject to a set of commitments ensuring fair competition in the sector of computer security (Intel / McAfee)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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European External Action Service
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Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Intel/McAfee* Introduction On 26 January 2011 the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of McAfee by Intel, both of the US. The approval is conditional upon a set of commitments ensuring fair competition in the sector of computer security. Computer security is a growing (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves joint venture between two UK mobile network operators (T-Mobile, Orange)
European External Action Service
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Of spectrum and Radio Access Networks: the T-Mobile/Orange joint venture in the UK"* I. Introduction On 8 September 2009, France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom, the French and German incumbent telecommunication operators, announced a 50/50 joint venture between their UK subsidiaries, Orange and (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase I a merger in the mobile industry accepting complex remedies proposed by merging parties (T-Mobile / Orange)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
T-Mobile/Orange and Cisco/Tandberg: Commission accepts complex Phase I remedies* When the Commission’s Remedies Notice was published in 2008, many commentators thought the Notice’s requirements for parties to a concentration to offer an acceptable remedy were too demanding. The concern was that (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to remedies, a merger between French and German telecommunications companies in the UK (Orange/T-Mobile)
J G Associates (Brussels)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" The Commission cleared, 1 March, the proposed merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, respectively France Télécom’s (FT) and Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) UK subsidiaries. The decision is conditional, firstly upon the amendment of an existing (...)

The European Commission clears merger in the online advertising market applying for the first time the non horizontal merger guidelines (Google, DoubleClick)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG CNECT (Brussels)
"Google/DoubleClick: The first test for the Commission’s nonhorizontal merger guidelines"* I. Introduction The Google/DoubleClickmerger generated considerable interest as it concerned the ubiquitous search engine that most Europeans use in their daily lives. From a competition policy (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the online advertising market (Google/DoubleClick)
J G Associates (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2008"* On 11 March the Commission decided to clear the proposed acquisition of the online advertising technology company DoubleClick by Google, both based in the US. Google operates an internet search engine that offers search (...)

The European Commission authorizes subject to remedies a merger between two Austrian mobile networks providers applying the new test introduced by the EC Merger Regulation to an undertaking which would not become the market leader after the transaction (T-Mobile Austria/tele.ring)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"T-Mobile Austria/tele.ring: Remedying the loss of a maverick"* On 26 April 2006, the Commission authorised the acquisition of sole control by T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, of the Austrian mobile phone operator tele.ring, leading to a combination of two Austrian mobile network (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the mobile telephony market (T-Mobile Austria/Tele.ring)
J G Associates (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2006"* On 26 April the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the Austrian mobile phone operator tele.ring by T-Mobile Austria, subject to conditions and obligations. The Commission had found that the proposed acquisition of (...)

The European Commission prohibits the merger between two US telecommunications companies (MCI WorldCom/Sprint)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (London)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* The Commission decided to prohibit the merger between US telecommunications firms MCI WorldCom Inc and Sprint Corp as it would have resulted in the creation of a dominant position in the market for top-level (...)

The EU Commission approves a joint venture between British and US telecommunications operators after examining possible coordinated effects (British Telecom / AT&T)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* In BT/AT&T the Commission investigated possible coordination effects of the proposed joint venture between British telecom and the US company AT&T. BT is currently the fifth biggest telecommunications operator. Its principal (...)

The EU Commission opens a detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators (British Telecom / AT&T)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* The Commission decided to open detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between British Telecom and the US firm AT&T, two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators. The joint venture will provide a broad range of (...)

The European Commission fines a Korean electronic equipment manufacturer for failing to notify a concentration (Samsung)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers Recent important decisions" On 18 February 1998 the Commission announced that it had fined the Korean company Samsung ECU 33,000 for failing to notify a concentration to the Commission in good time and for putting into effect the concentration without the Commission’s authorisation. (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, a merger between UK and US telecommunications companies (British Telecom/MCI)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger : Summary of the most important recent developments"* The second decision under Article 8(2) of the Regulation was taken on 14th May, four months after the launch of a “2nd phase” in depth investigation. The Commission’s initial inquiry gave rise to serious concerns with respect to the (...)

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