Digital Markets in EU Merger Control: Key Features and Implications

By Eleonora Ocello & Cristina Sjödin – 

This article identifies certain key features of digital markets and describes their implications for EU merger control, drawing on the European Commission’s merger practice in this area. The features discussed include digital markets’ fast-moving nature, two- or multisidedness, non-monetary-price nature, network effects, multi-homing and data accumulation issues. From a practical point of view, the Commission’s merger practice suggests that the current analytical tool-box is sufficiently flexible to deal with mergers in the digital sector. From a substantive perspective, the key features of digital markets may sometimes even prove decisive for the outcome of the Commission’s merger review in this field.