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EU: EC wants all data-rich mergers to seek approval

 |  September 29, 2016

The European Commission is considering whether companies that gain access to valuable data via small M&A deals should seek approval for these acquisitions to ensure that they will not hurt competition, the EU’s antitrust chief said on Thursday.

EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s comments come alongside an increasing focus by regulators globally on privacy and the possibility that some companies may buy data-rich rivals to lock in users and squeeze out competitors.

“A company might even buy up a rival just to get hold of its data, even though it hasn’t yet managed to turn that data into money,” Vestager said. “We are therefore exploring whether we need to start looking at mergers with valuable data involved, even though the company that owns it doesn’t have a large turnover.”

EU merger rules currently apply to mergers where the annual turnover of the combined businesses exceeds specified thresholds in terms of global and European sales.

The EC plans to get feedback from the public and interested parties before making any decision.

Full Content: Reuters

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