Mergers & Acquisitions in online platforms

Mergers

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally clears the acquisition of a distributor of educational materials by a publisher after a follow-up investigation (Iddink / Sanoma Learning)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
After follow-up investigation, ACM still conditionally clears acquisition of Iddink Group by Sanoma Learning* Publisher Sanoma Learning is allowed to acquire Iddink Group, a distributor of educational materials. Following a court ruling, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that the takeover of the largest provider of GIFs by the largest social media company raises competition concerns (Facebook / Giphy)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Facebook’s takeover of Giphy raises competition concerns* The CMA has provisionally found Facebook’s merger with Giphy will harm competition between social media platforms and remove a potential challenger in the display advertising market. Facebook app is being selected on a mobile phone. The (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two real estate online platforms after in-depth investigation (Trade Me / PropertyNZ)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission grants clearance for Trade Me’s acquisition of Homes.co.nz* The Commission has granted Trade Me Limited (Trade Me) clearance to acquire PropertyNZ Limited. Trade Me Property is the largest online residential listings platform in New Zealand. PropertyNZ Limited owns and operates (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation following referral from Austria to assess the proposed acquisition of a company specialized in the supply of customer relationship management software by a Big Tech company (Kustomer / Facebook)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the (...)

The German Competition Authority examines whether a merger between two social media platforms is subject to notification (Facebook / Kustomer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines whether Facebook / Kustomer merger is subject to notification* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a proceeding against Facebook to examine whether its planned acquisition of the start-up Kustomer falls under the scope of German merger control. Kustomer is based in New (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority fines a big tech company for gun-jumping (Facebook / Giphy)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Austrian Federal Competition Authority files application to fine Facebook for failing to notify GIPHY acquisition* Facebook cooperates with the AFCA in the course of an amicable conclusion of proceedings and accepts the fine of EUR 9.6 million requested by the AFCA. Background In the course (...)

The Norwegian Competition Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision to block a merger between two media companies (Schibsted / Nettbil)
Norwegian Competition Authority
Competition Tribunal upholds decision to block Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil* The Competition Tribunal agrees with the Norwegian Competition Authority that Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil should be prohibited. Schibsted ASA and Nettbil AS operate competing digital marketplaces for (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, in a merger case involving two companies providing technology solutions to the travel industry, confirms the Competition Authority’s broad discretion to review deals with limited UK nexus (Sabre / Farelogix)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In a continuing trend of increased regulatory intervention in deals globally, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) has confirmed that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has broad discretion to claim jurisdiction over mergers, even where one party has very limited and indirect (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of two online suppliers by a technology company providing services related to identity & access management loyalty programs, offers, and payments (Tata Digital / Supermarket Grocery Supplies / Innovative Retail Concepts)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI approved the acquisition by Tata Digital Limited (TDL) of up to 64.3% of the total share capital of Supermarket Grocery Supplies Limited (SGS) and a potential subsequent acquisition by SGC of sole control over Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited (IRC). TDL provides technology (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document that summarises the findings of its evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 26 March 2021, the European Commission ("Commission") published a Staff Working Document that summarises the findings of its evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control. The Commission has also adopted a communication providing guidance on the application of the (...)

The EU Commission provides guidance regarding its policy change to article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 26 March 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Staff Working Paper summarising the findings of its evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control (the “Evaluation”), along with a communication providing guidance regarding its change in approach to the (...)

The EU Commission publishes guidance on its broadened Member State referral system
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
The European Commission (EC) has published guidance on its new policy to encourage and accept referral requests from Member States under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) even where transactions do not meet the national merger control thresholds of the referring Member States (see (...)

The EU Commission publishes guidance and expands its jurisdiction by capturing transactions below the jurisdictional thresholds of national and EU merger control regimes
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
The European Commission (“Commission”) is expanding its jurisdiction over transactions by encouraging national competition authorities (“NCAs”) of the EU Member States to ‘refer’ certain transactions to it that fall below the thresholds for mandatory notification at the EU and the national level. On (...)

The EU Commission publishes guidance on the application of the referral mechanism set out in article 22 of the merger regulation to certain categories of cases
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
The European Commission wants to be able to block or conditionally approve transactions, mainly in the digital economy and in the pharmaceutical sector, even when the thresholds for notification are not met. In publishing its new Article 22 Guidance, the Commission has significantly expanded (...)

The EU Commission assesses in a published policy paper whether its jurisdictional merger control thresholds leave an enforcement gap and whether the administrative burden on merging firms and other market participants is proportionate
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In a recently published policy paper, the European Commission (EC) assessed whether its jurisdictional merger control thresholds leave an enforcement gap, and whether the administrative burden on merging firms and other market participants is proportionate. The EC concludes that the (...)

The EU Commission releases the new Article 22 EU Merger Regulation Guidance, which creates legal uncertainty for merger control and a de facto killer acquisition review power
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The new Article 22 EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) Guidance released by the European Commission (EC) enables the EC to review any acquisition, even those that do not qualify for notification under national (or EU) merger control rules. Summary The new guidance indicates that the EC will actively (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger between two big tech companies raises competition concerns in relation to digital advertising and the supply of GIFs (Facebook / Giphy)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Facebook’s purchase of Giphy raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that Facebook’s completed acquisition of Giphy raises competition concerns in relation to digital advertising and the supply of GIFs. Giphy is an online database and search engine that allows users to share GIFs and (...)

The Chinese Competition Authority fines tech giants for failure to notify economic concentrations under the applicable merger control rules
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
China’s antitrust enforcer imposes record fines on tech giants for failure to notify their concentrations* On 12 March 2021, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s competition authority responsible for the enforcement of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML), has announced ten (...)

The UK Competition Authority decides that the merger between two online retail companies raises competition concerns (Adevinta / Gumtree)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Adevinta’s purchase of Gumtree raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that Adevinta’s anticipated £6.5bn ($9.2 billion) purchase of eCG from eBay could lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers. Adevinta and eBay Classified Group (eCG) both operate online classified advertising (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders the divestment of a merging party’s international arm in the secondary ticketing market (Viagogo / StubHub)
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
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Van Bael & Bellis (London)
On 2 February 2021, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its final report following a Phase 2 investigation of the completed acquisition by the ticket reseller viagogo of competitor StubHub (previously part of eBay Inc.). The $4.1 billion (£3.1 billion) transaction was (...)

The German Competition Authority clears under merger control the launch of a digital health platform (Phoenix / Noventi)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt allows Phoenix and Noventi to launch digital health platform* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared under merger control the planned launch of a joint venture by the Phoenix Group subsidiary ADG Apotheken-Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH, Mannheim, and the pharmacy services provider (...)

The German Competition Authority authorises a proposed joint venture company to run a digital healthcare platform for the purchase and ordering of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines (Phoenix / Noventi)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Bundeskartellamt, the German competition authority (BKA), authorised today under German merger control rules a proposed joint venture company (JV) to run a digital healthcare platform for the purchase and ordering of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and other functions such (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation fines internet companies for failures to notify past transactions (Alibaba / China Literature / Shenzhen)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Shanghai)
On 14 December 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) imposed fines against three internet based companies Alibaba Investment Limited, China Literature Limited and Shenzhen Hive-box Network Technology for respective failures to notify past transactions under the merger (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority examines 21 national start-ups that were acquired by giant technology companies and submits the findings to the OECD
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
Are there ‘Killer Acquisitions’ in Israel?* The Israel Competition Authority examined what happened to 21 Israeli “start-ups” that were acquired by giant technology companies the findings were submitted to the OECD The digital economy giants provide new challenges to competition authorities (...)

The German Competition Authority unconditionally clears merger of online classified ads platforms (eBay Classifieds Group / Adevinta)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger between eBay Classifieds Group and Adevinta* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the notified merger between the eBay Classified Group and Adevinta. As a result of the merger the previous eBay subsidiary eBay Classifieds Group will be taken over by Adevinta. In the (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens consultation on revised merger assessment guidelines
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority published for consultation updated guidelines setting out its approach to analysing mergers on 17 November. The guidelines update the current merger assessment guidelines (CC2/OFT1254), which date back to 2010, in order to reflect developments in the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision to prevent the acquisition of an online graphics database by a social media company (Facebook / Giphy)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
In a unanimous judgment, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") dismissed Facebook’s application challenging the CMA’s refusal to grant certain derogations from an initial enforcement order ("IEO") imposed in connection with Facebook’s completed acquisition of GIPHY, Inc. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s suspension of the merger between a social media company and online graphics database company pending ongoing investigation (Facebook / Giphy)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA welcomes Tribunal judgment in Facebook and Giphy case* The CMA welcomes today’s Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment which dismissed all of Facebook’s grounds of appeal. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently investigating Facebook’s purchase of Giphy, which completed on 15 (...)

The UK Competition Authority agrees to fast track review of the country’s 2 largest equity crowdfunding platforms (Crowdcube / Seedrs)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Crowdcube/Seedrs deal fast tracked to in-depth CMA investigation* The CMA has agreed to ‘fast track’ the anticipated merger of Crowdcube and Seedrs to an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, after finding likely competition concerns. Crowdcube Limited (Crowdcube) and Seedrs Limited (Seedrs) are the (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority prohibits the acquisition by a competitor in the car digital marketplace sector (Schibsted / Nettbil)
Norwegian Competition Authority
Schibsted must sell Nettbil* The Norwegian Competition Authority has decided to intervene against Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil. The Authority is of the view that the acquisition will weaken competition in the market for online sales of used cars and will result in poorer services for (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks a completed investment technology merger after finding it would lessen competition (FNZ / GBST)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 November 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) ordered the platform technology provider FNZ to sell GBST after finding that the completed merger between the two rivals would result in a substantial lessening of competition, which would lead to higher prices and a reduction (...)

The US DoJ sues to block a global credit card company’s proposed acquisition of a leading financial data aggregation company (Visa / Plaid)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department Sues to Block Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid* Acquisition Would Eliminate Nascent Competitor Plaid and Prevent Disruption of Visa’s Monopoly in Online Debit Today, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to stop Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks investment in a technology merger after finding it could lead to a reduction in the quality of service and higher prices (FNZ / GBST)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA blocks investment technology merger* The CMA has ordered FNZ to sell GBST after finding their completed merger could lead to a reduction in the quality of service and higher prices. In its final report, published today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the deal (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds in Phase II investigation that the complete merger in online secondary ticketing market will reduce competition and proposes structural remedies even after accounting for COVID-19 (Viagogo / StubHub) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA finds competition concerns in viagogo and StubHub merger* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has provisionally found that the completed merger of viagogo and StubHub will reduce competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that viagogo and StubHub are close (...)

The Australian Competition Authority Chairman confirms plans to change merger laws
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In a recent speech provided to the Law Council of Australia Business Law Section’s Competition and Consumer Workshop, the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Rod Sims, confirmed that the ACCC will be putting forward ideas for changes to Australia’s merger laws (...)

The UK Competition Authority confirms its intention to cancel investigation into a merger of online advertising agencies because it is abandoned (Taboola / Outbrain)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Digital advertising merger to be abandoned during CMA investigation* Taboola has announced that it is to abandon its proposed purchase of Outbrain. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has therefore today confirmed it intends to cancel its investigation into the potential competition (...)

The EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announces new approach to merger review referrals falling below thresholds
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Under current EU merger control rules, whether a concentration has to be notified to the European Commission (“Commission”) depends, among other things, on the level of revenue generated by the parties worldwide and in the European Union. A key question that has sparked considerable debate in (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines an e-commerce platform for delayed compliance with document request after merger approval (Amazon / Deliveroo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2020, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (“CMA”) issued a decision fining Amazon for failing to provide 189 documents by the deadline set by the CMA. The document request came during the CMA’s investigation of Amazon’s purchase of a 16% stake in the food-delivery company (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears takeover of fintech start-up by global leader in electronic payments (Visa / Plaid)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Deal between Visa and Plaid given the go-ahead* The CMA has cleared Visa’s anticipated purchase of fintech start-up Plaid. The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follows a Phase 1 review in which it investigated several possible ways the deal could harm competition. Visa (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of wearable tech devices by a Big Tech company (Fitbit / Google)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the proposed (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a Big tech’s 16% investment in an online food delivery company after finding that it will not substantially lessen competition (Amazon / Deliveroo)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA clears Amazon’s 16% investment in Deliveroo* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has today cleared Amazon’s 16% investment in Deliveroo after finding that it will not substantially lessen competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) completed an initial ‘Phase 1’ (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears at phase II an acquisition of a minority shareholding and certain rights in a food delivery company in its first application of “failing firm” defence (Amazon / Deliveroo) Free
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
On 4 August 2020 the CMA cleared Amazon’s proposed minority investment in Deliveroo. Having previously been concerned that the investment could damage competition by discouraging Amazon from re-entering restaurant food delivery in the UK and altering its competitive incentives in respect of (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition of dating platforms on the basis that online dating market is characterised by dynamic growth, market entries and competition (Parship / Elite Partner / Lovoo)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The ProSiebenSat.1 Group strengthens its Internet dating platform business with the acquisition of the US app developer Meet Group. Although the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) found, that the acquisition will lead to further concentration in the online dating sector, the FCO, however cleared the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears merger of online dating platforms within the merger of their holding companies (Parship / Elite Partner / Lovoo)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Parship and Elite Partner can acquire Lovoo* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition of The Meet Group Inc., USA, by the ProSiebenSat.1 group. Since 2016 the portfolio of the ProSieben Sat.1 group has included the online dating platforms Parship and Elite Partner. The Meet (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority facilitates investments in start-ups after authorizing non-compete clauses in the sale contract (CodeCool)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 June 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) published a decision in which it accepted undertakings from a group of companies and private individuals that amended non-compete clauses in the context of an acquisition of a controlling stake in CodeCool, a Hungarian start-up company (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds concerns in a digital advertising merger between two companies supplying content recommendation services to major news sites (Taboola / Outbrain)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Competition concerns found in digital advertising merger* Taboola’s purchase of Outbrain raises competition concerns in the supply of content recommendation, a type of digital advertising. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the anticipated purchase of Outbrain (...)

The UK Competition Authority revises its original findings of failing firm defence due to COVID-19 after firm’s improved performance and instead provisionally clears acquisition of 16% of the firm’s stock based on SLC test findings (Amazon / Deliveroo) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA revises provisional findings in Amazon/Deliveroo case* The CMA has provisionally cleared Amazon’s 16% investment in Deliveroo, on the basis that it is not likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition. In its initial provisional findings, published in April, the Competition (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its statement of issues by expressing preliminary concerns over a proposed acquisition that would entrench an online platform’s dominant position in the supply of data-dependent health services and ad tech services (Google / Fitbit)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 18 June 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Statement of Issues in relation to Google LLC’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit, expressing its concerns that the acquisition may further entrench Google’s dominant position in the supply of data-dependent (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger in the online secondary ticketing market raises competition concerns even after accounting for the COVID-19 difficulties (StubHub / viagogo) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Merger of viagogo and StubHub raises competition concerns* viagogo’s purchase of StubHub raises competition concerns in the online secondary ticketing market in the UK, a CMA investigation has found. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on conglomerate effects of mergers
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Conglomerate effects arise when a merger has an effect on competition, but the merging firms’ products are not in the same product market, nor are they inputs or outputs of one another. Mergers exhibiting conglomerate effects have taken on a new prominence in the digital era, as the largest (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally allows a joint venture of the nation’s largest public-transport company and of the transport network company to create a travel app together (Dutch Railways NS / Pon)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Mobility service provider Pon en Dutch Railways NS are conditionally allowed to create travel app together* Dutch Railways NS and Pon are allowed to create a new company, which will operate an app that allows consumers to plan, book and pay for their trips, combining different modes of (...)

The US DoJ moves to vacate its loss in a booking services market acquisition decision on the basis that the competition effects may heighten the agencies’ burden of proof and merger enforcement (Sabre / Farelogix)
Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
On May 12, 2020, the Department of Justice moved the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware’s U.S. v. Sabre Corp. opinion. In an opinion released on April 7, the court rejected DOJ’s challenge to the proposed merger of Sabre and (...)

The US DoJ welcomes the UK Competition Authority’s prohibition of a merger between two travel technology companies resulting in the parties abandoning merger worldwide, even though in the US the DoJ’s prohibition was rejected by US District Court (Sabre / Farelogix)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Statement from Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim on Sabre and Farelogix Decision to Abandon Merger* Sabre Corporation and Farelogix, Inc. announced today the termination of their merger agreement. The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on Aug. 20, 2019, to block (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears merger between 2 online food delivery undertakings ahead of the statutory deadline for decision despite COVID-19 pandemic (Just Eat / Takeaway.com) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA gives Just Eat and Takeaway.com deal the green light* The CMA has cleared the £6.2 billion merger between 2 food delivery companies. Just Eat plc (Just Eat) is one of the main food delivery firms in the UK market, while Takeaway.com N.V (Takeaway.com) operates in 11 countries overseas, (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears acquisition of an online food delivery business by a global online shopping company to prevent it from bankruptcy likely to happen due to economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak (Amazon / Deliveroo) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA provisionally clears Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo* In light of a deterioration in Deliveroo’s financial position as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), the CMA has provisionally cleared Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo. After completing an initial, Phase 1, investigation, the Competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears an acquisition between an online food delivery business by a global online shopping company (Amazon / Deliveroo)
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The CMA has provisionally cleared Amazon and Deliveroo merger On 17 April 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") provisionally cleared the anticipated acquisition by Amazon of certain rights and a minority shareholding in Deliveroo. The CMA’s initial analysis of the merger (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears the acquisition of a delivering food company despite COVID-19 (Deliveroo / Amazon) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 April 2020, approximately one week after the CMA found COVID-19 not to be an obstacle to its decision to block the Sabre/ Farelogix transaction, the CMA announced its provisional clearance of the acquisition by Amazon of a minority shareholding and certain rights in Deliveroo “in light of (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears acquisition of publishing company by rival publisher because of sufficient competition on the markets for free online news, and for online advertising (Sanoma Media / DPG Media)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of publishing company Sanoma Media by rival publisher DPG Media* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the acquisition of publishing company Sanoma Media Netherlands by rival publisher DPG Media (formerly De Persgroep Nederland). After the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority unconditionally clears the acquisition of a publishing company and concludes that no in-depth phase II merger control investigation is required as sufficient competition will remain in the online-advertising market and free online news market (Sanoma / DPG)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
On 10 April 2020, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) unconditionally cleared the acquisition of publishing company Sanoma Media Netherlands (“Sanoma”) by DPG Media (“DPG”) and concluded that no in-depth phase 2 merger control investigation was required as sufficient (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks merger between online airline booking providers despite their sector being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak (Sabre / Farelogix) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA blocks airline booking merger* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has blocked Sabre’s proposed takeover of Farelogix. Among other products and services, Sabre and Farelogix supply software solutions which help airlines to sell flights via travel agents including those that (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks a proposed merger in the market for the supply of merchandising solutions and distribution systems to airlines despite the COVID-19 pandemic (Sabre / Farelogix) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Despite the uncertain future facing the global travel industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 9 April 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced its decision to block the proposed Sabre/Farelogix transaction, citing concerns that “UK passengers [would] miss out on (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy and digital challenges with a section dedicated to the redefinition of its merger control tools in the digital economy
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
Since 2017, the French Competition Authority (FCA) has been working on the simplification and modernisation of merger control in France, which resulted in particular in: (i) several public consultations on new guidelines aiming at replacing the current ones in the course of 2020; (ii) a new (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger between two data center companies (InterXion / Digital Reality)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of InterXion by Digital Realty* The acquisition of InterXion by data center Digital Realty has been cleared. Both companies commercially exploit data centers in major cities around the world, including Amsterdam. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates on a £5,9 billion merger in the food delivery market (Takeaway / JustEat)
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) is currently investigating Takeaway.com’s acquisition of UK-listed Just Eat for £5.9 billion (see link). Shares in the combined company, Just Eat Takeaway, started trading on 3 February. However, the CMA’s initial enforcement order prohibits the (...)

The Pakistan Competition Authority approves an acquisition between two application-based ride-sharing service companies despite extremely high market concentration levels and efficiencies failing to outweigh the adverse effects of lessening of competition (Careem / Uber Technologies)
McGill University - Department of Law (Montreal)
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (hereinafter “CCP” or “the Commission”) through its order dated 31 January 2020 (“the Order”) approved the acquisition of Careem by Uber Technologies, Inc., transforming the duopolistic market of application-based ridesharing services into a monopolistic market. (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on merger control in dynamic markets
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
The modern competition dynamics observed in rapidly-evolving sectors, such as high-technology, consumer services and online retail, is challenging the role of competition authorities in merger control, where enforcement decisions fundamentally depend on an effects-based analysis of the likely (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears acquisition by automobile manufacturers of small shareholdings in a ride-sharing company (ANI / OLA)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI cleared the proposed acquisition by automobile manufacturers Hyundai and Kia of small shareholdings in ride-sharing company ANI Technologies (ANI/OLA) and its electrical vehicles arm, Ola Electric Mobility (OEMPL), together with strategic cooperation in various areas. The CCI (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, the creation of a TV platform by three television channels (Salto)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Pay Television Sector* The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the creation of the Salto platform by TF1, France Télévisions and Métropole Télévision (M6) Background Following a referral decision by the European Commission, TF1, France Télévisions and Métropole Télévision (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears the takeover of a mobile payments company after conducting an in-depth Phase 2 probe (PayPal / iZettle)
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
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CRA International (Boston)
Acquisitions of Potential Rivals in Digital/Tech: Valuation Analysis as Key Economic Tool - PayPal/iZettle Antitrust authorities everywhere are increasingly concerned with so-called “killer acquisitions” – cases where an established incumbent buys up a small rival which might have the potential (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the online and offline payment services market (PayPal / iZettle)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA clears PayPal / iZettle deal* The CMA has cleared PayPal’s completed takeover of rival mobile payments company iZettle after an in-depth, Phase 2, investigation. Both companies provide mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices that enable businesses to take ‘offline’ payments through a card reader (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority prohibits a concentration between a retail company and a company offering logistical services to retailers (Walmart / Cornershop)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE blocked Walmart/Cornershop concentration* • The proposed deal could generate incentives to unduly displace or block competitors’ access to the Cornershop platform and/or hinder the development of new platforms. • The new economic agent resulting from the transaction would gain sufficient (...)

The UK Government adopts the Furman report to reshape the UK competition policy
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
The Furman Report is a Flimsy Basis for a New UK Competition Policy* Earlier this year the UK government announced it was adopting the main recommendations of the Furman Report into competition in digital markets and setting up a “Digital Markets Taskforce” to oversee those recommendations being (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority clears a merger in the entertainment industry subject to structural remedies (Disney / Fox)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Clarification on Disney/Fox transaction* Mexico City, February 6, 2019.- In August 2018, the Walt Disney Company (Disney) and Twenty-First Century Fox (Fox) notified, both the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) and the Federal Institute for Telecommunications (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines a company operating in the retail market of IT products, home appliances and marketing via e-commerce platforms for gun jumping (Corsar Online)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council sanctioned Corsar Online Srl with fines of 1.6 million lei * The Competition Council sanctioned the company Corsar Online SRL with fines of approximately 1.6 million lei for the implementation of a merger before being authorized by the Competition Authority. In the (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on the two ride-hailing applications available in Egypt to preserve the competitive structure of the market (Uber / Careem)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) imposes Measures on Uber and Careem to regulate competition between them and safeguard the competitive structure of the market.
* Dr. Amir Nabil, Chairman of the Egyptian Competition Authority, said: “Uber and Careem are the only ride-hailing applications (...)

The EU Commission clears the acquisition of a music recognition app by a Big Tech company that provides a digital music streaming service (Apple / Shazam)
Slaughter and May (Brussels)
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Slaughter and May (London)
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Slaughter and May (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Is Big Data a ‘friend’ or a ‘foe’ to consumers? Do the current EU merger control rules work for ‘Big Tech’ deals? The European Commission’s announcement that it has (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the market of music recognition for smartphones, tablets and PCs (Apple / Shazam)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Apple’s acquisition of Shazam* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger after an investigation into the potential anti-competitive effects resulting from a major data transfer in the digital music streaming sector (Apple / Shazam)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Liège University (Liège)
The European Commission has unconditionally cleared Apple’s EUR 400 million purchase of Shazam. Following an in-depth phase II investigation into the possible anti-competitive effects resulting from Apple getting access to Shazam’s data set, the Commission concluded that the proposed merged (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority sends official notice and request of information to the two ride-hailing companies of Egypt (Uber / Careem)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
Attempted merger agreement between the two main competitors in the ridesharing market in Egypt, Uber Group and Careem Group
* Based on several reported information concerning an attempted merger agreement between the two main competitors in the ridesharing market in Egypt, Uber Group and Careem (...)

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore announces a proposed infringement decision for substantial lessening of competition in the market of ride-hailing platform services (Grab / Uber)
King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne)
1 STAR RATING: SINGAPORE REGULATOR FLAGS UNWINDING OF GRAB/UBER MERGER* On 5 July 2018, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) announced that it had issued a proposed infringement decision against Grab Inc (Grab) and Uber Technologies, Inc (Uber) in relation to the sale of (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market of music recognition for smartphones, tablets and PCs (Apple / Shazam)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSIONS OPEN IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO APPLE’S PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF SHAZAM* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger could (...)

The French Competition Authority clears two separate mergers in the footwear distribution market (Monoprix / Sarenza ; Spartoo / André)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
FOOTWEAR DISTRIBUTION* The Autorité de la concurrence clears two separate acquisitions but which raise similar questions: Sarenza by Monoprix (Casino group) André by Spartoo On 16 March Monoprix, and subsequently on 4 April 2018, Spartoo notified the Autorité de la concurrence of two distinct (...)

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 French Competition Authority conducts for the first time an investigation into an online platform merger and clears it subsequently (Axel Springer / Concept Multimédia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
For the first time, the Autorité de la concurrence has examined the merger of two online platforms. After an in-depth examination, the Autorité unconditionally clears the acquisition of Concept Multimédia (Logic-Immo.com) by the Axel Springer Group (SeLoger.com)* Parties to the transaction On (...)

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two real estate online platforms (Axel Springer / Concept Multimédia)
Epex Spot (Paris)
On 1st February 2018, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) unconditionally cleared in Phase II proceedings the planned acquisition of sole control of French company Concept Multimédia - which owns the real estate online platform Logic-Immo.com - by German group Axel Springer - which owns 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 German Competition Authority prohibits a merger on the ticket sale market for live entertainment (CTS Eventim / Four Artists)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits merger between CTS Eventim and Four Artists* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited the planned acquisition by CTS Eventim AG & Co. KGaA of the majority of shares in the companies belonging to Konzert- und Veranstaltungsagentur Four Artists - Four Artists Booking (...)

The US FTC files an administrative complaint challenging a proposed acquisition in the market for third-party paid referral services for senior living facilities and enters into a consent decree (Red Venture / Bankrate)
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On November 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint challenging Red Ventures’ proposed acquisition of Bankrate. The FTC alleged that the deal (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the online property advertising (SeLoger.com / Logic-Immo.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
ONLINE PROPERTY ADVERTISING* The Autorité de la concurrence has begun an in-depth examination as part of the review of the take-over of Concept Multimédia (Logic-Immo.com) by the Axel Springer group (SeLoger.com) The Axel Springer group, which is active mainly on the online property adverting (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for providing incorrect or misleading information during its investigations 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 EU Commission fines a social network company for providing misleading information during a 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 big tech company for providing incorrect or misleading information during the merger control review process (Facebook / Whatsapp)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
THE LATEST: EU Commission Fines Facebook EUR 110 million for Providing Incorrect or Misleading Information* The Commission’s EUR 110 million fine on Facebook for breach of its procedural obligations under the EU merger control rules underscores the need to submit full, accurate and reliable (...)

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 EU Commission clears the acquisition of a leading global professional social networking platform company by a leading global software company, subject to 5-year remedies that include monitoring and prevention of tying (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Microsoft/LinkedIn: Big data and conglomerate effects in tech markets* In a nutshell: The Microsoft/LinkedIn case is an important development in the Commission’s assessment of mergers involving data-related issues in tech industries. It provides further guidance on the framework for the (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the professional social networks market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES ACQUISITION OF LINKEDIN BY MICROSOFT, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the professional social network market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
European Commission Approves Microsoft Acquisition of LinkedIn Subject to Conditions* On 6 December 2016, the European Commission cleared the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to Microsoft granting LinkedIn’s competitors access to certain LinkedIn tools. “BIG DATA” CONCERNS ANALYSED (...)

The EU Commission invites third party comments on a proposed acquisition in information technology sector (Microsoft / Linkedin)
Steptoe & Johnson (London)
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Fieldfisher (London)
Microsoft/LinkedIn: could Big Data be a Big Problem?*On 14 October 2016, Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn was notified to the European Commission for merger clearance. The EU regulator’s initial deadline to decide whether to approve the deal or refer it for in-depth (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM releases a company from conditions previously imposed in an e-commerce merger (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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University of Melbourne
On 30 May 2016, the MOFCOM decided to release Wal-Mart from the conditions that it had imposed on Wal- Mart’s acquisition of Yihaodian in 2012. Wal-Mart had applied for release from these conditions in July 2015. When the MOFCOM conditionally approved Wal-Mart’s acquisition in 2012, the (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger on the market of retail of cultural and electronic products (Fnac / Darty)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
THE AUTORITÉ DE LA CONCURRENCE IS OPENING A PHASE 2 EXAMINATION OF THE ACQUISITION OF THE DARTY COMPANY BY THE FNAC GROUP* On 17 February 2016, the Fnac group notified the Autorité of its proposed acquisition of the Darty company. Under its examination of the case, and following an initial (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between major online dating platforms in phase II (EliteMedianet / Parship)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Major online dating platforms can merge* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared in second phase proceedings the planned acquisition of all the shares in EliteMedianet GmbH, Hamburg, by an investment fund of Oakley Capital Limited, London. The merger affects the market for online dating platforms, on (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves online rights licensing and administration joint venture between collective management organizations (PRSfM / STIM / GEMA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 June 2015, the EU Commission conditionally approved the proposed joint venture between music collective management organisations PRS for music Limited (“PRSfm”) of the UK, Föreningen Svenska Tonsättares Internationella musikbyrå u.p.a. (“STIm”) of Sweden, and Gesellschaft für musikalische (...)

The EU Commission approves a joint venture for cross-border licensing of online music between three music collecting societies (PRSfM / STIM / GEMA)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves joint venture for cross-border licensing of online music between PRSfM, STIM and GEMA, subject to commitments* Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture for (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the market of online real estate portals (Immonet / Immowelt)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
CLEARANCE OF MERGER BETWEEN IMMONET AND IMMOWELT* In the first phase of merger control the Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Axel Springer SE, Berlin to acquire sole control of Immowelt AG, Nuremberg and the launch of a joint venture between Immowelt AG and Immonet GmbH, Hamburg. The (...)

The US FTC clears a merger between the two most-visited online home shopping sites in the US without conditions (Zillow / Trulia)
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (Washington)
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US Department of Justice (Washington)
In a ruling on February 13, the FTC unconditionally approved the Zillow-Trulia merger after an intensive six-month antitrust review. Despite reported concerns “that the merger might concentrate too much power in one company,” the FTC ultimately decided to “bless” the Zillow-Trulia combination. (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore conditionally clears first merger with divestment and behavioural commitments (Seek Asia Investments / JobStreet)
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
Comment: On 13 November 2014, the Competition Commission of Singapore (the “CCS”) released its grounds of decision conditionally clearing the proposed acquisition by SEEK Asia Investments Pte. Ltd. (“SEEK Asia Investments”), of 100 per cent. of the online recruitment business assets of JobStreet (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves in first phase an acquisition in the digital sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - Legal Service (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 unconditionally clears an acquisition in the social media sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Ramón y Cajal (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 approves without commitments an acquisition in the 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 Cypriot Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the online payment services market (GCS Holding / Ingenico)
Ernst & Young (Nicosia)
On 16/07/2014, the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”) received notification of a proposed concentration by Ingenico S.A. (hereinafter referred to as "Ingenico"), in accordance with section 10(2) of the Control of (...)

The U.S. Department of Justice prohibits a merger between the two leading providers of ratings and reviews platforms that resulted in the elimination of meaningful competition in that sector, despite the fact that the transaction was non reportable (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (New York)
If you thought not having to report your proposed acquisition to the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission meant never worrying about antitrust issues, think again. The DOJ’s recent pursuit of Bazaarvoice, Inc. in connection with its acquisition of PowerReviews, Inc. (...)

The US Court of the Northern District of California decides against the acquisition of a competitor on the basis that it would lead to anticompetitive effects in the sector of product ratings and review platforms (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF DOJ FINDING BAZAARVOICE/POWERREVIEWS MERGER ANTICOMPETITIVE* On January 8, 2014, Judge Orrick of the Northern District of California ruled that Bazaarvoice’s acquisition of competitor PowerReviews violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The ruling was in favor of the (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California rules against a non-reported acquisition in the sector of product ratings and review platforms (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Combination of online consumer review platforms Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews found to violate Clayton Act* Last week, the federal district court in San Francisco ruled that Bazaarvoice Inc.’s June 2012 acquisition of PowerReviews Inc. violated Sec. 7 of the Clayton Act. In a “necessarily lengthy (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California finds evidence that the merging parties expected the transaction to have anticompetitive effects (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Another Example of Why You Should Follow the “New York Times” Rule — the Bazaarvoice Decision* Have you heard of the New York Times rule? The rule is: don’t write something down in a business communication unless you’re comfortable with its text appearing in the New York Times. If everyone followed (...)

The EU General Court rejects a rival’s claim and gives the green signal for an acquisition in the communications services market (Microsoft / Skype)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
By its decision dated 11 December 2013, Luxembourg based European General Court approves the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. Background On 02.09.2011 the EU Commission was notified of a proposed concentration by which, Microsoft Corporation, USA acquired 100% of the outstanding shares and (...)

The Netherlands ACM clears a planned collaboration between two Dutch publishing companies (Lannoo Meulenhoff / WPG Uitgevers)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Two Dutch publishing firms are allowed to rent out ebooks together* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has cleared the planned collaboration between two Dutch publishing companies, Lannoo Meulenhoff and WPG Uitgevers, to offer ebooks rentals to consumers together. The (...)

The New York Attorney General settles remedies regarding the merger between two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan (Seamless / GrubHub)
Ashurst (Milan)
NY Attorney General reaches settlement with two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan* On 5 August 2013 NY Attorney General stated that he reached a settlement with Seamless North America, LLC and GrubHub, two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan, in order to address (...)

The US DoJ challenges an acquisition by a market leader in product ratings and reviews the platforms of its alleged closest competitor (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Washington)
On January 10, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Bazaarvoice, Inc. alleging that its acquisition of PowerReviews, Inc. in June 2012 violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The complaint alleges that Bazaarvoice was the market leader for product ratings and reviews platforms (PRR (...)

The U.S. FTC and the EU Commission clear an acquisition on the market for recorded music (Universal Music Group / EMI Music)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
European Commission and U.S. Federal Trade Commission clear Universal’s acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business* On 21 September 2012 both the European Commission ( “Commission” ) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ( “FTC” ) cleared the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business by (...)

The EU Commission develops a novel theory of harm based on the effect of the transaction on the bargaining power of the new entity (Universal Music Group / EMI Music)
CRA International (Brussels)
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The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Geneva)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Mergers and bargaining power: back to the future? Insights from the Universal/EMI merger* The decision to approve the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music rights (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears an acquisition in the recorded music business (Universal Music Group / EMI Music)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 September 2012, the European Commission conditionally cleared the proposed acquisition by Universal Music Group of EMI’s recorded music business, following a phase II investigation. The Commission’s phase II investigation focused on the effects of the deal on the wholesale market (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM enforces telecom regulations in a merger review (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)
Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti (New York)
The notification for the Wal-Mart/Yihaodian transaction was submitted to China’s Ministry of Commerce on 16 December 2011. It was ultimately accepted on 16 February 2012 by MOFCOM after supplementation. At the expiration of the Phase III, or extended Phase II, period, on 13 August 2012, MOFCOM (...)

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 U.S. 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 French Competition Authority clears a merger in the e-commerce sector (Altarea / Rue du commerce)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la Concurrence clears the acquisition of Rue du Commerce’s sole control by Altarea*. The Autorité de la concurrence examined the acquisition of Rue du Commerce by Altarea, by means of the acquisition of a bloc of shares and a public takeover bid on Rue du Commerce’s securities. (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information service provider to go forward (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 District Court for the District of Columbia 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)
Secretariat Economists (San Francisco)
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Secretariat Economists (Washington DC)
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 District Court for the District of Columbia demands behavioral remedies from two strong competitors in related markets before approving a vertical merger that will allow the combined company to enter the online travel search market (Google / ITA)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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United Airlines (Chicago)
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 District Court for the District of Columbia seeks behavioral remedies before approving a joint-venture to prevent exclusionary conduct in the online video distribution and video programming markets (Comcast / NBC Universal)
American University’s Washington College of Law (Washington)
The Federal Communication Commission’s recent decision to allow the transaction between Comcast and General Electric’s NBC Universal (NBCU) affiliate to proceed subject to conditions helped to fill a gap in the contemporary treatment of vertical mergers. The existence of this gap was (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia conditionally approves a joint-venture under behavioral remedies in the online video distribution and video programming industries (Comcast / NBC Universal)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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United Airlines (Chicago)
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 German Competition Authority prohibits the creation of an online video platform joint venture between two leading TV broadcasters (RTL / Pro7Sat1)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 18 March 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office has prohibited the plans of broadcasting groups RTL and Pro7Sat1 to form a joint venture for the creation and operation of an online video platform. In its statement of objections of 23 February 2011, the Cartel (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits an online video platform joint venture between two leading TV broadcasters (RTL / Pro7Sat1)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On March 17, 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) rejected plans by German broadcasting groups RTL and Pro7Sat1 to launch a joint venture for the creation and operation of an online video platform. This decision illustrates how in Europe, particularly in Germany, antitrust (...)

The German Competition Authority blocks a joint venture creating an online video on demand platform by the two leading TV broadcasters (RTL / Pro7Sat1)
NOCON (London)
I. Transaction RTL and Pro7Sat1 planned to set up an online video on demand (VOD) platform which allows users toaccess and watch professional video content. The concept of the platform was to provide content that has already been transmitted on TV and can be accessed free of cost for seven (...)

The US Federal Communications Commission conditionally approves a joint venture in the telecommunications sector subject to remedies resolving antitrust concerns (Comcast / NBC Universal)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Comcast/NBC Universal Joint Venture Receives Regulatory Approval* The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved a joint venture between Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co.’s subsidiary NBC Universal Inc. The joint (...)

The EU Commission refers the assessment of a joint venture between two German private broadcasters to the competition authorities of Austria and Germany, at their request (RTL / Pro7Sat.1)
JG Associates (Brussels)
Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 24 September 2010 the European Commission referred the assessment of the joint venture between the German private broadcasters ProSie-benSat.1 and RTL to the competition authorities of Austria and Germany, at their request. The (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to divest part of a business and requires a licensing of software to mitigate the anticompetitive effects of a merger in the ticketing services industry (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
After a decade of what was perceived by many as relatively restrained merger enforcement, the Obama administration has repeatedly and vocally vowed to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement” and to “take effective action to stop or restructure mergers that are likely to harm consumer[s]”. Many (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia demands divestiture and licensing to create two new competitors and imposes conduct remedies to limit the benefits of vertical integration in a merger in the primary ticketing services market (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Kelley Drye & Warren (Washington)
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Kelley Drye & Warren (New York)
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The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DoJ”), along with 17 state attorneys general, reached an agreement with the parties last week that allows the merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. (“Ticketmaster”) and Live Nation, Inc. (“Live Nation”) to proceed. The parties agreed to a (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia conditionally approves a vertical merger upon the implementation of structural and behavioral remedies in the market for primary ticketing services (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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United Airlines (Chicago)
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 District Court for the District of Columbia imposes divestiture and behavioral remedies before approving a merger to maintain competition in the market for primary ticketing services (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
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 UK Competition Commission clears an entertainment industry merger for the second time without remedies following appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (Oxford)
On May 7th 2010, the UK Competition Commission (CC) cleared unconditionally the completed merger between Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc (Ticketmaster) and Live Nation, Inc (Live Nation). The case had previously been cleared by the CC in December 2009, but following a successful appeal by a (...)

The UK Competition Authority concludes that a proposed merger in the entertainment industry would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Ashurst (Milan)
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger gets final clearance in the UK* On 7 May 2010, the UK Competition Commission (“CC”) reaffirmed its initial decision of December 2009 (see Newsletter 1/2010 p. 9 for details) concluding that the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster would not result in a (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase I a merger in the internet search market while addressing the concept of concentration and conducting a detailed two-sided market analysis (Microsoft / Yahoo!)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Microsoft/Yahoo! – the concept of a concentration* The Commission’s recent decision approving Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo!’s Search Business (including internet search and search advertising) contains an interesting application of the definition of a concentration under the Merger Regulation. (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal orders the Competition Commission to reconsider its clearance of a merger on the basis of absence of vertical concerns (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Following a reference of the case to it from the OFT, on 22 December 2009, the UK Competition Commission ("CC") announced that it had decided to clear unconditionally the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. ("Ticketmaster"), a ticketing agent, and Live Nation Inc. ("Live (...)

The UK Competition Commission clears a merger in the entertainment industry (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
KPMG (London)
Factual background Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc (“Ticketmaster”) is the world’s largest ticket agent, and sells tickets on behalf of live music promoters and venue operators. Live Nation Inc (“Live Nation”) is principally a promoter of live music events and an owner/operator of live music venues. (...)

The UK OFT refers a vertical merger to the Competition Authority based on horizontal concerns (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 11 June 2009, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") announced that it had decided to refer the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc ("Ticketmaster") and Live Nation Inc ("Live Nation") to the Competition Commission ("CC") for an in-depth investigation. Despite the fact that there (...)

The EU Commission clears a 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 (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 EU Commission clears an acquisition in the online advertising market (Google / DoubleClick)
JG 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 EU Commission approves after an in-depth investigation the creation of a joint venture in the music industry (Sony / BMG)
European Commission (Brussels)
"Following an in-depth investigation the Commission approved the creation of the Sony/BMG music recording joint venture on 19 July 2004"* Over the last 15 years, the music industry has witnessed the process of gradual consolidation. The Commission has analysed a number of these concentrations (...)

The German Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition on the market for paid content (T-Online / Bild.de)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears T-Online participation in Bild.de subject to specific conditions* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared T-Online International AG’s acquisition of a 37 per cent share in Bild.de after the companies concerned had clarified with legally binding effect a number of preconditions (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the online travel agency industry (T-Online / Bild.de)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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DG Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) (Brussels)
"Internet Joint Ventures and the Quest for Exclusive Content: The T-Online Cases"* Introduction EC and national competition law issues arising from the marketing of ‘premium’ content, such as travel services and sports news, via the Internet were at the centre of several recent competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a merger in the media sector with behavioural remedies, including the granting of non-discriminatory access (Seat Pagine Gialle / Cecchi Gori Communications)
Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation On 23 January 2001, the Competition Authority authorized with conditions the acquisition by Seat Pagine Gialle S.p.A. of Cecchi Gori Communications S.p.A. by way of purchase of shares. SEAT Seat Pagine Gialle S.p.A. (SEAT) is an Italian company belonging to the Telecom Italia (...)

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