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The Deal: Merger Control and Privacy - The Right Tool for the Job?

October 12, 2020

O’Melveny antitrust counsel Sergei Zaslavsky authored this The Deal article, which explores whether merger control is the right means for protecting privacy interests.

“While merger review is traditionally concerned with competitive effects of the transaction, some commentators and politicians are calling for other considerations to play a role. Privacy is a prime example,” Zaslavsky writes.

“Privacy issues in a merger may either be intertwined with competition issues or be independent of competition issues,” Zaslavsky notes. “An example where privacy presents a standalone issue is when there is a concern that the merger will lead to a deterioration of consumer privacy, but for reasons unrelated to competition (e.g., the acquiring company will simply make greater use of consumer data than the acquired firm did pre-merger).”

Focusing his analysis on situations where privacy issues arise separate and apart from competition issues, Zaslavsky argues that the merger control framework works well for protecting competition, but is not a good fit for other policy goals such as privacy.

The Deal subscribers can access the full article here.