The Competition and Markets Authority appointed Lear to carry out a study aimed at looking at four past merger decisions in the digital sector taken by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission (jointly, the “Authorities”).
The objective of the study was threefold:
▪ review merger cases undertaken by Competition Authorities and the relevant economic literature to identify which Theories of Harm (ToHs) have been typically pursued in relation to these mergers, how such ToHs have been evaluated and which relevant economic features should be taken into account when evaluating mergers in the sector;
▪ assess the UK cases and evaluate whether the decision that the Authorities have come to was reasonable based on the evidence that was, or would reasonably have been, available at the time;
▪ evaluate market evolution following the mergers to ascertain whether the merger has led to a detrimental outcome.