Antitrust regulators struggle with big data

Author: Karry Lai | Published: 11 Jun 2019

In an age of big tech where the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon have monopolised markets, unbound by traditional antitrust laws, regulators around the world are playing catch up, according to panellists at an antitrust industry event in Hong Kong.

The most prominent example is the Facebook/Instagram merger in 2012. Antitrust authorities around the world did little to intervene despite the two social platforms being global leaders in the same field.

"The Facebook/Instagram merger wasn’t reviewed because it didn’t cross the threshold," said Richard Blewett, foreign legal consultant at Clifford Chance in Hong Kong. Rather than a revenue-based threshold, some jurisdictions are shifting to a value-based approach, such that strategically important companies must have their mergers reviewed. Examples include the UK’s share of supply test, as well as similar methods in Germany and Austria....