Integration of online operators in merger control analysis : Evolution or revolution ?

For the first time, in the recent Fnac/Darty decision, the French Competition Authority found that online and physical retailing are sufficiently substitutable to form a single product market. This article analyses the reasons why the Authority overhauled its case-law in that particular case, and the consequences this entails in terms of assessment methods. More broadly, the Fnac/Darty decision opens a debate on how competition agencies can adapt to technological developments, and brings up questions about their tools to do so.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. [The authors were rapporteurs in the Fnac/Darty case. They thank Simon Genevaz for his helpful comments on this article. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, in a purely personal capacity, and do not represent those of the Competition Authority.] 1. A step has been taken. On July 27th, as part of the authorisation of the takeover of Darty by Fnac [1], the French Competition Authority took into account for the first time the competitive pressure exerted by online sales on traditional stores. In particular, it took into account competition from the giant Amazon, thereby reducing the market shares of the parties to the operation. Expected by

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  • French Competition Authority (Paris)
  • French Competition Authority (Paris)
  • French Audiovisual Regulator (CSA)


Anne Rossion, Carole Armoet, Sebastien Lecou, Integration of online operators in merger control analysis : Evolution or revolution ?, November 2016, Concurrences Nº 4-2016, Art. N° 81843, pp. 35-41

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