New CMA Merger Assessment Guidelines inspired by Lear’s recommendations

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has updated its Merger Assessment Guidelines to make its approach to merger assessment more in line with recent developments, especially in the digital landscape. In revising its Guidelines, the CMA paid particular attention to the role that changes in technology have been playing in shaping the way firms compete with one another. The new Guidelines are built on Lear’s recommendations on how to approach the assessment of digital mergers included in the “Ex-post Assessment of Merger Control Decisions in Digital Markets” report. These recommendations were broadly meant to address the risk of under-enforcement in digital markets. Continue reading New CMA Merger Assessment Guidelines inspired by Lear’s recommendations

Our column on Vox “Tech-over: Mergers and merger policy in digital markets”

Lear together with Emilio Calvano looks at the M&A activity carried out by Amazon, Facebook, and Google between 2008 and 2018 (Argentesi et al., 2019b). Over this period, based on publicly available information, Google acquired 168 companies, Facebook 71 companies, and Amazon 60 companies. The question is whether the target companies would have grown to be viable competitors to the acquiring tech giants.
To read more on this article here


Lear economists discussed, together with practitioners from the private and public sector and academics, on the relevant economic features of digital markets and the challenges they present for merger control.

The presentation (in Italian) is available here

The report on Evaluation of past merger decisions in the UK digital sector is online

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has appointed Lear to carry out a study looking at 4 past merger decisions in the technology sector taken by the Office of Fair Trading, including the Facebook/Instagram and Google/Waze decisions.

The study investigates:

  • the potential competition theories of harm to be assessed when evaluating mergers in digital sectors;
  • whether the assessment in 4 digital merger clearance decisions was reasonable based on the evidence available at the time;
  • whether the outcome of the decision has been detrimental to consumers based on the market evolution following the mergers.

The main findings of the study will be presented during the LEARtalk Digital Markets in Rome on June 13th.

The report is available  here
More info on the LEAR talk Digital Markets  here