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M&A and Digital : A More Dynamic Approach ?

La table ronde “M&A And Digital : A More Dynamic Approach ?” organisée sous le format et la règle de Chatham House, en partenariat avec Meta, composée d’une présentation de la part de Carmelo Cennamo (Professor with special responsibilities of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)) et David Teece (Executive Chairman, Berkeley Research Group, San Francisco). Les présentations, le débat et les questions-réponses ont été modérés par Frédéric Jenny (OECD - Competition Division).

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Frédéric Jenny stated that the issue of merger control in the digital sector is very vigorously debated in competition law for a variety of reasons. One is that the innovative developments in this sector have been combined with a tendency towards market tipping conglomeration growth of a few large ecosystems, as well as a concentration of profits, and several mergers. To support his words, Frédéric mentioned a paper from Alexandre de Streel which points out that between 2001 and 2018, Google bought on average one firm per month. Also, between 2015 and 2017, the five leading U.S. digital firms (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft) have been engaged in 175 acquisitions. Most of these acquisitions have not been reviewed by competition authorities, but the European Union has adopted measures to review mergers that fall under the EU thresholds, as the Illumina/Grail case demonstrates. For the mergers that have been reviewed, the decisions of competition authorities are the target of criticism for either being misguided in allowing mergers to proceed or opposing them.

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