Merger Review in the 2020s: Do Digitalization and Globalization Change the Analysis?

Merger Review in the 2020s: Do Digitalization and Globalization Change the Analysis? – By Toshiko Igarashi (Japan Fair Trade Commission)1

On November 7 and 8, 2018, ICN Merger Working Group held the fifteenth ICN Merger Workshop, in Tokyo, hosted by the Japan Fair Trade Commission. Over 200 participants, including agency officials and NGAs (Non-Governmental Advisors) from about 40 jurisdictions participated, and discussed the role and the challenges of merger review in the digitalized and globalized economy under the theme “Merger Review in the 2020s: Do Digitalization and Globalization Change the Analysis?”

2018 ICN Merger Workshop

The two-day workshop consisted of four plenary sessions and sixteen breakout sessions.2 Plenary sessions addressed broader themes of how competition agencies are or should respond to changes in the digital and global economy, while breakout sessions addressed narrower topics within that theme.

The opening plenary session, Merger Review in the Digital Economy, presented an overview of the characteristics of mergers in the digital economy and the experiences of competition agencies. Panelists from the UK, Portugal, and Singapore discussed their experiences, following the introduction by the Canadian moderator. The UK panelist presented legal, analytical, and evidential challenges of reviewing merger in the digital economy. While the UK’s “share of supply” jurisdictional test provided its competition agency with the ability of revi…

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