The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2018

United States: Digital Platforms

11 September 2017

Introduction US antitrust agencies' review of mergers involving online platforms is becoming more common as online companies increasingly seek strategic combinations. Online platforms often are multi-sided markets characterised by two sets of consumers and distinct product options for each side of the market. In an investigation of a merger involving online platforms, the agency's product market and entry analysis must take into account the reality that in many circumstances, the consumers on one side of the market face different option sets for products than the consumers on the other side of the market. While some of these mergers produce fantastical headlines1 regarding the antitrust impact of these deals, careful consideration of the likely effects of such deals often yields competitive effects analyses that are far more nuanced and ambiguous, and result in real efficiencies that dwarf any hypothetical antitrust harm.

Interested in becoming a GCR author? Please contact our Insight Manager.

Get in touch