Data in EU Merger Control

By Miranda Cole – 

Much has been said (and written) about “big data” as a new factor in European merger review. This focus of course begs the questions: “is this new”? A number of cases over the last 20 years in which data played a crucial role. However, increasing volumes and diversity of data collected, and increasing sophistication of the analysis of such data, have led to increased scrutiny. That said, the Commission has applied a consistent approach to reviewing data as an “input” for many years, The only really new development is its consideration of whether the use of data to improve services can be anticompetitive.