New Rules for Mergers in the Digital Economy in Germany

By Peter Stauber – 

This article presents the recent changes to German antitrust law introduced by the 9th Amendment Package to the ARC that affect mergers in the digital economy. It first details the new transaction value-based merger control threshold and discusses the challenges its application poses for practitioners. The second part focuses on the change in the notion of “relevant product market” which hitherto also encompasses the provision of services (or goods) free of charge. In the third part, the article describes the criteria for assessing dominance in the digital economy, particularly concerning multi-sided markets and networks that now have expressly been codified into law.