VBB competition partner Andreas Reindl quoted on the emerging “ecosystem” theory of harm in digital platform mergers
Investigative news organisation The Capitol Forum interviewed Andreas on the use of an “ecosystem” theory of harm in pending merger control cases, including Amazon/iRobot and Booking/eTraveli. The ecosystem theory broadly captures concerns that acquisitions of complementary services could strengthen digital platform ecosystems and make them more attractive, and thus make markets less contestable. Andreas expressed strong scepticism that such ideas represent a viable theory of harm, saying that regulators first need to develop a clearer framework to identify relevant evidence and to quantify harm and efficiencies before acting on such “nebulous concerns.”
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