BRUSSELS Oct 7 EU antitrust regulators are
seeking feedback from interested parties before deciding whether
to scrutinise small merger deals that give companies access to
valuable data or high-potential drugs.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager flagged
the move last week, underlining the possibility of some
companies acquiring data-rich rivals to lock in users and
EU merger rules now apply only to deals where the combined
businesses exceed specific thresholds in terms of annual global
and EU-wide turnover.
The European Commission said it may include other criteria,
such as a high purchase price or high-value biotech products
under development, depending on the results of the consultation
launched on Friday.
"There have been suggestions to complement the existing
thresholds by other alternative criteria in order to capture
some types of transactions in certain sectors, for example
digital services and pharmaceuticals," the EU antitrust enforcer
said in a statement.
The consultation, which runs until Jan. 13, could also lead
to simpler rules for straightforward merger deals.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and