Facebook’s acquisition of Jio Platforms unconditionally cleared

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently unconditionally cleared Facebook's acquisition of a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms through its subsidiary Jaadhu Holdings LLC.

In addition to this investment, the acquisition involved a strategic tie-up whereby JioMart would use WhatsApp as one of the communication channels for its retail business.  

The CCI examined many theories of harm. In relation to horizontal concerns, the CCI examined overlaps in consumer communications apps and online advertising. In relation to vertical concerns, the CCI explored leveraging issues in the e-commerce space and electronic payment mechanisms, and analysed whether the parties would have an incentive to deviate from net neutrality. The CCI also considered whether there would be any adverse effects resulting from data sharing between the parties. The CCI concluded that the combination was not likely to have any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India on any of the above theories.

A team from Frontier Economics (Europe) and Frontier Economics (Asia-Pacific) advised Facebook on the economic aspects of the competition clearance. The team was led by Director David Parker, with Martin Duckworth, Carlotta Bonsignori, Eleanor Monaghan and Monica Gambarin from Frontier Economics (Europe) and Warwick Davis and Teck Hao Tan from Frontier Economics (Asia-Pacific).

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