January 12, 2015
High technology markets are dynamic, fast-growing sectors characterized by a fast-paced innovation. Dominant positions in these markets may be challenged by innovators provided that entry barriers are not high. Competition authorities have to take into account these factors when reviewing the effects of merger operations on the competitive structure of high technology markets. This paper examines the approach taken by the Commission in assessing under the EU Merger Control Regulation (EUMR) the competition impact of mergers in high technology markets in the recent Microsoft/Skype, and Facebook/WhatsApp merger cases. The paper argues that, when reviewing mergers operations affecting high technology markets, due to the specific competition conditions prevailing in such markets, the Commission has assessed with care the parties’ market shares, network effects and the interoperability between the products of the merged entity and those of competitors.