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Academic Articles Awards > Mergers

What’s Up with WhatsApp? A Transatlantic View on Privacy and Merger Enforcement in Digital Markets

Lisa Kimmel and Janis Kestenbaum, Antitrust, Fall 2014

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Data can be viewed as the raw material of the information economy, and firms in markets for consumer-facing digital goods and services have built business models that depend on the collection and use of consumer information. When firms in this sector merge, it can lead to a substantial increase in the scope and magnitude of consumer data under the control of a single firm. Some regulators and privacy advocates have expressed concern that the aggregated data of the combined entity, when subjected to increasingly powerful “big data” analytic tools, will yield especially revealing pictures of consumers, making data breaches more consequential, and raising the risk that data will be used in ways that will disadvantage consumers.

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