In the era of digital markets, the growing importance of Big Data1 is undeniable. “The rise of new businesses models based on the collection and processing of Big Data is currently shaping the world.”2 Indeed, the Big Data phenomenon has not only changed the way businesses conduct their economic activities, but also presented new challenges to the legal environment, in particular when it comes to competition law and data protection.
Realizing that possession of Big Data generates significant advantages, mergers and acquisitions in digital markets have become more frequent for undertakings wishing to obtain information (and at the same time exclude competitors from having the same information). The target company may not always have big turnovers, but it may still be regarded ‘precious’ considering the nature/value of data it possesses.
Bearing this in mind, competition authorities in various jurisdictions have been considering adopting more careful approaches in relation to competition issues3 and mergers with the involvement of digital markets and Big Data, in particular. For instance, the European Commission is currently rethinking the use of financial thresholds as the only element the merger control.4 There are some concerns as to whether the current merger control regime that relies only on the monetary turnover of the parties is effective enough in the era of digital markets, particularly where mergers with valuable data/possessions rather than big turnovers are involved.
In addition to that, data protection and privacy considerations in the Big Data mergers are among the hot topics nowadays. Currently data protection and privacy assessments have been outside the scope of the competition authorities’ powers; however, it is clear that the issue is inseparable from the merger cases involving digital/data processing markets (take for instance Facebook/WhatsApp merger).
The objective of this article is to look at the recent merger control cases in the digital markets and assess whether there is a real need for updating the merger control rules (focusing on the EU primarily) with a “value of transaction test” . Market definition and role of market shares in the digital markets, as well as need for a greater coordination between the competition and data protection authorities (which are currently high on the agenda of the regulators in the EU), are also addressed here. The article concludes that merger control rules may require adaptation to the new Big Data world. It is not necessary to have the whole new merger control regime, but certain issues have to be taken into account for the mergers in the Big Data world.
Recent Big Data Mergers: Highlights
The main purpose of the recent mergers in the Big Data world is to obtain the competitive advantage by way of accessing (more) information and incorporating it into companies’ revolutionary/innovative business strategies. Below we provide analysis of the major prominent cases in the sector with a particular focus on the assessment of the market definition, impact on competition, efficiencies and competition concerns related to the transactions.
– Microsoft/LinkedIn,5 2016. The main aim of the transaction was to allow Microsoft to add sales, marketing and recruiting services to its core business products for the next-generation computing. The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft was approved by the European Commission with several commitments in relation to the professional social networks. The European Commission retained its previous relevant market definition in competitive assessment of this case. The product market was defined as (i) professional social network services, (ii) consumer relationship management software solutions, and (iii) online advertising services. The parties activities had some overlap in online advertising market, which was defined as national in geographical scope or alongside linguistic borders within the EEA. In general, the European Commission followed its more conservative approach in determining geographic markets – while admitting the that the scope of the markets could be global, it determined it as the EEA-wide or even national instead.
The main concern here was that the increased user database of LinkedIn would create barriers for new entrants to the market of professional social network services in the EEA. It was further found that since LinkedIn products did not appear to be a “must have” solution, nor a prerequisite to compete in the market, the transaction was unlikely to enable Microsoft to foreclose the market in question. Limited combined market share of the parties in the EEA market for online advertising services played a decisive role in deciding so.
The issue of the value of information is of particular interest here, since LinkedIn contains more than 400 million people, and what is more important is that it provides information on professional profiles and network of connections between them and their activities. These facts certainly add to the value of information.6 This consideration was not really taken into account in the competitive assessment of the merger. Rather, it was acknowledged that the merger with any such (personal) data combination could only be implemented by the merged entity “to the extent it is allowed by applicable data protection rules” (para 177 of the Decision). The data privacy consideration in this case shall be considered as a positive development directly emphasizing that data protection legislation may limit company’s ability to have access and to process its users’ personal data. In line with its previous cases, the European Commission refrained from assessing the merger in light of data protection considerations. Rather, its competitive assessment was based on the assumption that such data combination was allowed under the applicable data protection rules (para 179 of the Decision).
Similarly to the Microsoft/LinkedIn case, the European Commission’s investigation focused on the markets of (i) social networking services, (ii) consumer communications services (on apps for smartphones, since WhatsApp is not available for other devices), and (iii) online advertising services.
It should be mentioned that the transaction did not have the EU dimension, but nevertheless it was reviewed by the European Commission pursuant to Article 4(5) of the Merger Regulation No 139/2004 (“ECMR”).9 This brings about a question of whether it is necessary to introduce the alternative “value of transaction” threshold considering the availability of the case referral system at the EU level (see Section 3.1. below).
The European Commission acknowledged the role of data in this case by stating that both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger already have large customer bases. Another positive development related to this merger assessment is the European Commission’s conclusion that “the consumer communications apps market is fast growing and characterised by short innovation cycles in which market positions are often reshuffled,”10 hence admitting that the market definition as well as market shares are also constantly evolving.
That is why the forward-looking analysis of the potential activities of the parties was conducted in this case. In particular, the European Commission looked at whether the Facebook’s position in the market for online advertising could be strengthened because of the merger, irrespective of the fact that WhatsApp was not even present at this market. This confirms our main argument that competition law has to adjust to the Big Data world, primarily when it comes to market definition and role of market shares. Rather than focusing on the current market power of the parties, the forward-looking approach should be taken, as the markets are very dynamic and may not even exist at the time of the merger assessment (see Section 3.2. below).
Lastly, refraining from considering any privacy related issues that may arise from the increased concentration of data is one of the major drawbacks of the merger assessment in the case (see Section 3.3. below).
– Microsoft/Yahoo!11 2010. The transaction was related to acquisition of the internet search and search advertising businesses of Yahoo by Microsoft. In this case, Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s activities in internet search and online search advertising in the EEA were very limited with combined market shares below 10%.12In addition to that, the parties put forward the efficiency defence – the scale of information resulting from the transaction – and obtained the approval of the European Commission. Access to the search requests allowed improving the quality of services and ensuring the personalized search results taking into account customers’ preferences. Since search engines of Microsoft and Yahoo! were much weaker as compared to the ones Google has, it was concluded that the merger of the data bases of the parties could potentially increase a competition with Google.
The case emphasizes on the importance of looking at advantages to be gained via combining two sets of data.
– Google/Double Click,13 2008. The main purpose of the transaction was to obtain information to profit from the personalized and targeted advertisements. The transaction was authorized by both the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the European Commission.
Interestingly, there is a dissenting opinion of FTC’s Commissioner P.J. Harbour in the matter stating “[…] existing horizontal overlaps are troubling enough, and might have provided a predicate for the Commission to impose conditions on the merger. But even more troubling is that the combination of Google and DoubleClick likely will affect the evolution of the entire online advertising market – especially in light of existing network effects, and the tremendous additional network effects the transaction will generate. The majority’s analysis skims too quickly over these points. Network effects deserve greater attention.”14 In other words, a fuller analysis should have been conducted, particularly in relation to the post-merger intentions/effects. Again, the case proves the statement that rather than focusing on the current market power and activities of the parties, the forward-looking approach should be taken in the dynamic digital markets (see Section 3.2. below).
– Reuters/Thomson,15 2008.The European Commission, following the assessment of Thomson’s and Reuters’ positions in the various markets in the financial services sector, found that the main areas of overlap concerned the off-trading floor space (i.e. the research and asset management area).16 It had concerns that the merger could create serious barriers to entry to the market because in order to compete with Thomson Reuters company the potential competitors would have needed years to accumulate similar financial data bases. Nevertheless, the transaction was cleared with remedies that the parties would provide their competitors with copies of certain financial and economic databases so that they could compete with Thomson Reuters.
In the majority of the above described cases the mergers have demonstrated to have low impact on the existing market structure because of either the modest market share(s) or absence of horizontal overlaps (except for Thomson/Reuters case). However, it should be borne in mind that in the Big Data world the possibility to have access to a large database should be first criterion to be analyzed carefully. Additionally, forward-looking assessment of potential effects and efficiency gains are crucial for the fast evolving digital markets.
Big Data Merger Control Issues On The Horizon
There is an ongoing debate as to whether the current merger control rules adequately respond to the challenges posed by the Big Data and digital markets. In particular, whether “purely turnover-based jurisdictional thresholds”, as well as classical relevant market definition, are effective enough to capture all mergers that may potentially have impact on the competition. This is due to the fact that in digital industries, the “acquired company, while having generated little turnover as yet, may play a competitive role, hold commercially valuable data, or have a considerable market potential for other reasons.”17 Another important issue is the necessity for the competition authorities to take into account data protection/privacy considerations while authorizing the Big Data mergers.
– Value of transaction test – is it needed?
In other words, under the turnover thresholds acquisition of a target company (e.g. a “small digital start-up”) that does not (yet) generate significant turnover,18 may not have to be notified normally. However, such company may have a “high market potential” considering the information resources it possess.
Realizing this, the European Commission has launched public consultations to determine whether the current turnover test is enough and whether the so-called “value of transaction test” is to be introduced to complement the existing turnover based thresholds. 19 This issue also appears to be on the horizon in other jurisdictions. For instance, the additional “value of the transaction test” will be introduced in Germany in the course of April 2017, according to which, if a transaction value exceeds EUR 400 million and the target has significant business presence in Germany, it will be subject to merger control formalities.20 The value/size of transaction test is already applied in the USA.21
Therefore, as an option, in cases where the turnover thresholds are not met, the competition authority may look at the economic value of the transaction as an indicator of its importance. In principle, the value of the transaction may indeed serve as an indicator of its importance for the parties and of high market potential of the target company, if the price of the transaction is high enough.
On the other hand, a major problem with this test is the fact that the parties themselves set the value of the transaction. Hence, they may just as well try and resort to various manipulations/complex payment structures in order to set the price at the level that would lower the economic value of the target and hence not trigger the merger control requirement.
Therefore, including the price factor of the merger to the notification thresholds may not be sufficient and efficient enough. It would be necessary to develop precise guidelines for the determination of the value of transaction/purchase prices according to the common M&A practices (taking into account all the monetary payments, voting rights and assets subject to transfer, etc.).
There is also a risk that the alternative “value of transaction” threshold may be rather broadly defined and hence cause uncertainties, and lead to certain disruptions in the notification process. Competition authorities should be prepared to receiving clarification requests from the companies in relation to the necessity to notify.
Lastly, the need for the alternative value of transaction threshold at the EU level shall be carefully considered in the light of the existing case referral system22 within the EU which allows such Big Data mergers (without the EU dimension based on the turnover thresholds) to be referred to and reviewed by the European Commission. A well-known example of this is the 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook (see Section 2.2. above). The main concern with this referral system is that notification in at least three EU member states is required (which may not always be the case, also considering that those members states may veto the reallocation of jurisdiction) and can add significant delay to the clearance timetable. Hence, the parties contemplating such merger should take this (case referral) possibility into account in the process of concluding the condition precedent and final date for the closing.
– Market definition in digital markets
Big Data and digital markets also pose a challenge to competition authorities in terms of necessity to rethink the notion of the relevant market definition in its classical meaning.
Assessment of any merger in relation to its impact on competition starts with the market definition. “The analysis of merger decisions since 2003 suggests the Commission is increasingly focusing on wider geographic markets: in the last two years, no fewer than 61% of Commission merger decisions assessed a market that was EEA or wider in scope, compared to 48% ten years ago.”23 This should be particularly the case for the relevant market definition in the Big Data world, which is driven by dynamic technological innovation and globalization.
Hence, one of the possible options for the future developments in relation to digital markets is to stop applying narrow market definitions. “The Commission has to consider a greater amount of scenarios, take the industry broad view, and basically try to predict future.”24 This is true considering that a main unique characteristic of the digital markets is their rapid change, where “yesterday is already a history”, and gathering relevant data is almost impossible, hence a forward-looking approach in merger assessment is vital. Importance of the forward-looking “dynamic analytical approach, based on predictions about how markets will evolve” was emphasized back in 2007 in the FTC’s dissenting opinion in relation to Google/Double Click (see Section 2.4. above).25
“Digital markets are extremely dynamic, which makes it important to define them in a way that captures the likely future effects of competition.”26 In addition to that, in digital markets price “is not the decisive parameter for the purchasing decisions of the clients”, hence traditional means of defining the relevant market (such as SNIP test) cannot be properly applied where the key parameters are product features, quality of service or functionality.
The non-price parameters, particularly quality, were considered by the European Commission in Microsoft/Skype case,27 as significant “since consumer communications services are mainly provided for free, consumers pay more attention to other features.”
Defining product market in the Big Data world is not that straightforward and again should be considered as much broader than the actual activity of the parties. Future plans and intentions/interests of the acquirer based on its vision of data combination are to be taken into account. For instance, in the 2014 acquisition of Nest Labs Inc. by Google the affected market delineation should not be limited to the activity of the target. This is because the main interest of Google in this acquisition was not to start supply of thermostats and smoke alarms and to get into the smart-home business, but rather to obtain information that has been collected by those thermostats to improve its search advertising services.
As regards the relevant geographic market in the Big Data world, it should also be quite broad – global in principle. However, in reality the European Commission may consider looking at invisible from the first glance borders (regulations, national license agreements, linguistic and cultural aspects etc.). As practice shows, in most cases the exact market definition is left open by the European Commission.
Overall, based on the analysis of the European Commission’s cases it may be concluded that firm rules how the geographical/product market in Big Data world should be delineated have not been established yet. In fact, even if there were legal precedents, they may actually be of a limited use, again due to the constantly evolving digital markets. Hence, it will be difficult to be consistent with previous practice, and market definitions in earlier cases should not be relied upon without careful (re)consideration.
Considering the rapid change and hence future uncertainty related to the digital markets, it is very likely that the question of the relevant market definition in Big Data mergers may play a second role as compared with the traditional markets. Market shares as indicators of market power may be not that relevant as well, considering the dynamics of the digital markets, where the market leader may be displaced in a relatively short period. In fact, market shares are likely to be of little use as measures of market power in the dynamic digital markets. Rather than market shares, it is the significance of the data and its ability to affect competition in the market, innovation and efficiency, as well as ability to foreclose competitors should be assessed. “Competition authorities may rely less on traditional indicators such as market shares […]. They rather focus on indicators that inform about contestability, such as the presence of entry barriers, the availability of alternative routes to reach end-users, and the degree of innovation in unexplored technologies/services.”28
In Facebook/WhatsApp merger the European Commission has already focused more on the network effects and number of other market participants that collect user data alongside Facebook.29 In the Microsoft/Yahoo! case the European Commission considered the scale of data collection as the feature able to enhance market power.30
Therefore, acknowledging the dynamic dimension of competition, forward-looking assessment of plans/interests of the acquirer and related efficiencies are crucial for the efficient review of the Big Data merger cases. Market shares are likely to be of little use as measures of market power in the dynamic digital markets.
– Privacy consideration in competition assessment of Big Data mergers
Data protection and privacy issues represent the “other side of the coin”31 of the Big Data mergers. On the one hand, as stated by the European Commission in Facebook/WhatsApp clearance in 2014, it seems that “[…] any privacy related concerns flowing from the increase concentration of data within the control of Facebook as a result of transaction do not fall within the scope of EU competition law.” On the other hand, it should not be ignored that while analyzing mergers involving Big Data, it is essential to consider data protection and privacy aspects.
Unlike the merger control rules, there is no requirement to notify and obtain the Data protection authority’s approval for the transaction. Consequently, the assessment of the impact of the transaction on the privacy of customers can only be done within the framework of the merger review by the competition authorities (as only competition authorities can make the transaction conditional on compliance, including, with the data protection rules). Nevertheless, recent practice shows that competition authorities are reluctant to touch upon issues of data protection and privacy.
At the same time there is a hope for positive changes in this respect. For instance, in the recent Microsoft/LinkedIn case (as discussed above), the European Commission concluded that the “privacy related concerns as such do not fall within the scope of EU competition law but can be taken into account in the competition assessment to the extent that consumers see it as a significant factor of quality, and the merging parties compete with each other on this factor.”32 Hence, the European Commission found that data privacy was an important parameter of competition between professional social networks on the market, which could have been negatively affected by the transaction.
Indeed, it should not be ignored that while analysing mergers involving Big Data, it is essential to consider data protection and privacy aspects. In fact, the two regimes have to coexist together in in Big Data mergers. Considering that in relation to the latter the competition authorities are currently very reluctant to do so (since there are data protection authorities), such mergers should be reviewed by the competition authorities in close coordination with the data protection authorities. It may prolong the merger review process, but this could be justifiable as the welfare of consumers is at stake. Another option would be, for instance, in clearing the Big Data mergers, the competition authorities should take commitments from the parties, among others, that they would (i) state what kind of information they intend to collect, how they will collect and process it and for what purposes. In such a way consumers will have a clear picture and hence will be able to shape their online behaviour/scope of information disclosure. Such practices will demonstrate good intentions and awareness of data protection concerns. However, their efficient implementation in practice will be possible again with greater cooperation between the competition and data protection authorities.
Merger control rules in the Big Data world – to be or not to be revisited? The answer to this question seems to be positive, since indeed the turnover threshold will likely to prove to be insufficient to secure effective functioning of the merger control (considering the special nature of data as an asset and/or input for businesses). Mergers involving Big Data companies may not always have big turnovers, but they may have considerable potential market impact that may be reflected in high acquisition values. Hence, it is reasonable to consider introducing the alternative value of transaction threshold.
Another question, which is even more important, to be answered is how to ensure the adequate assessment of the value of information based on its potential use in the future and limit manipulations, as well as uncertainty for businesses to minimum. It would be necessary to develop precise guidelines for the determination of the value of transaction/purchase prices according to the common M&A practices (taking into account all the monetary payments, voting rights and assets subject to transfer, etc.). Clear guidelines from the competition authorities would be vital here.
As regards market definition in the Big Data mergers, it has to be forward-looking, considering that the digital markets are rather dynamic, characterized by rapid changes, and on top of that, price is not a decisive parameter there. In some cases the relevant product market may not yet exist and the competition authorities may have to even predict the future. Hence, there are substantial grounds for anticipating that there will be much less emphasis on the importance of the market definition in the Big Data mergers (as compared with the traditional markets), and market shares will be of little use in assessing the market power. Instead, substantive analysis of such issues as network effects, switching costs, the company’s access to data, value/significance of data, efficiencies and innovation-driven competitive constraints, as well as potential effects of combination of data sources in the future will be required largely.
Data protection and privacy aspects are likely to become more and more integrated into the competitive assessment of Big Data mergers. It is important that the merger control and data protection regimes coexist together in Big Data merger control. Considering that competition authorities are currently very reluctant to take into account the data protection consideration (since there are data protection authorities), greater cooperation between the competition and data protection authorities is essential.
1. According to the OECD Paper, “While the use of the term ‘Big Data’ is often vague and lacks precision, the most frequently used definitions of Big Data usually refer to (1) the large dimension of datasets; and (2) the need to use large scale computing power and non-standard software and methods to extract value from the data in a reasonable amount of time. […] Big Data is the information asset characterized by such a high volume, velocity and variety to require specific technology and analytical methods for its transformation into value.” See p.5 at BİG DATA: Bringing Competition Policy To The Digital Era, OECD DAF/COMP(2016)14 27.10.2016 https://one.oecd.org/document/DAF/COMP(2016)14/en/pdf
2. p. 28, Big Data: Bringing Competition Policy To The Digital Era, OECD DAF/COMP(2016)14 27.10.2016 https://one.oecd.org/document/DAF/COMP(2016)14/en/pdf
3. There have been reports and studies on Big Data and Competition prepared by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, 2015; the EC’s Competition in a Big Data World, 2016; French and German Competition Authorities’ paper, 2016; FTC’s Report 2016 Big Data A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/big-data-tool-inclusion-or-exclusion-understanding-issues/160106big-data-rpt.pdf
4. Consultation on Evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control, 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2016_merger_control/index_en.html
5. Case COMP M.8124 -MICROSOFT / LINKEDIN, 06.12.2016 http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_8124
6. Some sources refer to the ‘data gravity’ to describe a notion of Big Data to attract suppliers of services and applications, “who are drawn to information that makes their products more useful.” (Waters, R. Data Mining. The Financial Times Limited, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/d5ceda60-a1e1-11e6-82c3-4351ce86813f). This also contributes to the value of information, hence level of competition concern.
7. Case COMP/M.7217 – FACEBOOK/ WHATSAPP, 03.10.2014
8. Currently the European Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp, in particular its possibility of automatically matching Facebook’ users’ IDs with WhatsApp users’ accounts (which apparently already existed in 2014). http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4473_en.htm
9. See para 9 of Case No COMP/M.7217 – FACEBOOK/ WHATSAPP
0. Commission approves acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook , 3.10.2014, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1088_en.htm
1. Case COMP M.5727 – MICROSOFT/YAHOO!SEARCH BUSINESS, 18.02.2010, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_5727
13. Case No. COMP/M.4731 Google/ DoubleClick, 11.03.2008, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/decisions/m4731_20080311_20682_en.pdf
14. P. 4, In the matter of Google/DoubleClick F.T.C. File No. 071-0170, Dissenting Statement Of Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_statements/statement-matter-google/doubleclick/071220harbour_0.pdf
15. Case No COMP/M.4726 – Thomson Corporation/ Reuters Group, 19.02.2008, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/decisions/m4726_20080219_20600_en.pdf
6. Commission clears acquisition of Reuters by Thomson subject to conditions, 19.02.08, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-08-260_en.htm
17. The European Commission is currently considering “Functioning of the turnover-based jurisdictional thresholds set out in the Merger Regulation in light of highly valued acquisitions of target companies that have not yet generated substantial turnover” as part of its Pubic Consultation on Evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2016_merger_control/index_en.html
18. A relatively low revenues could be explained by the fact that the services are provided free of charge. But it does not necessarily indicate a low economic value of the company or suggest that the merger will have a negligible impact on competition.
19. Merger control reform: capturing transactions in the digital markets, November 2016,
20. At the time of this article submission, the draft law was about to be presented to the president for signature and was expected to enter into force in the course of April 2017.
21. US Merger Control 2017, available at https://iclg.com/practice-areas/merger-control/merger-control-2017/usa, accessed 15 April 2017.
22. Pre-notification referral under Article 4(5) of the ECMR or a post-notification referral under Article 22 of the ECMR
23. Competition Policy Brief, Issue 2015-12, March 2015 http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/cpb/2015/002_en.pdf
24. P.53, http://pure.au.dk/portal-asb-student/files/9751/Final_thesis_Relevant_Market_the_application_to_the_E-commerce_area_in_the_EU_.pdf
25. In the matter of Google/DoubleClick F.T.C. File No. 071-0170, dissenting statement of commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_statements/statement-matter-google/doubleclick/071220harbour_0.pdf
26 Resetting Competition Policy Frameworks For The Digital Ecosystem, P.3. http://www.gsma.com/publicpolicy/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/GSMA_Resetting-Competition_Report_Oct-2016_60pp_WEBv2.pdf
27. Case COMP/M.6281 Microsoft/Skype
28. Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy of the European Parliament, “Cross- Competition Among Information (Digital) Platforms,” 2015, p.67 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/542235/IPOL_STU(2015)542235_EN.pdf
29. “Case COMP/M.7217 – Facebook/WhatsApp”. http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/decisions/m7217_20141003_20310_3962132_EN.pdf
30. COMP/M.5727, “Microsoft/Yahoo! Search Business”, http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/decisions/M5727_20100218_20310_261202_EN.pdf
31. P. 9 https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_statements/statement-matter-google/doubleclick/071220harbour_0.pdf
32. Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to conditions, Brussels, 6 December 2016, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4284_en.htm
Hanna Stakheyeva and M. Fevzi Toksoy