Digitalisation has brought profound changes to many industries. Fundamentally new business models have emerged: search engines, price comparison websites, social networks and many business models of the sharing economy. Many digital markets show high levels of concentration and are dominated by a few big players.
Often, digital business models are operated as platforms or networks. A key feature of a platform is that it enables direct interaction between two user groups (e.g. between buyers and sellers or between advertisers and recipients). Networks, in turn, enable direct interaction between members of one and the same user group, for example the users of a social network.
Some digital platforms have become hubs for all kinds of business transactions, ranging from communication and advertising via the brokerage of business deals to the direct distribution of goods. Data volumes handled via these platforms are constantly increasing. The acquisition of start-ups with a quickly growing user base by such dominant platforms triggers the need for new economic assessment tools. Moreover, traditional theories of harm are less suited to evaluate the potential risks of acquisitions of start-ups in the digital economy in an adequate way.
EE&MC is a well-equipped economic expert for handling these new challenges. The EE&MC-experts apply the new economic concepts related to the digital economy to allow a proper antitrust scrutiny.