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The Roundtable will explore M&As in Platform Markets: Understanding the Dynamic Relation between Corporate Activities and Market Activities.

Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of corporate activities such as M&As and CVC Investments on market activities (such as new firm entry and exit, new investment, etc.), considering the other firms in the related industry. Preliminary analysis mainly focuses on the Merger and Acquisition (M&A) corporate activities, where both acquirer (i.e., corporations) and acquiree (i.e., target startup) are “platforms”. We adopt an event study approach employing the (global) Pitchbook dataset. Unlike previous findings that focus on negative externalities (e,g., killer competition), we find a mixed externality effect for the startups that are similar to the acquiree after the M&A. Preliminary findings indicate a more complex relationship between M&As and market activities, and suggests that acquisitions might be a positive or negative information signal to the market depending on the underlying state of technological and market development. Additional analysis will be focusing thus on seed investments in target companies before they are acquired (i.e., CVC investment) to assess the whole dynamic effect of corporate activities on the shaping of subsequent market activities.   


Carmelo Cennamo is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School, Affiliate Professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, and has been a faculty member at Bocconi University, visiting research fellow at Harvard University and visiting professor at IE Business School. A frequent keynote speaker in academic and corporate events, as well as in broad-appeal events such as World Economic Forum, TEDx, Competition Policy International, Concurrences, he is a leading expert on competition in digital platform markets, and on business ecosystems. His research aims at understanding how the peculiarities of multi-sided platforms affect competitive dynamics in digital markets, traditional sectors, and the strategies for managing platform ecosystems. His ongoing projects concern the role of market design and ecosystem orchestration by platform firms and the implications for digital transformation of sectors and competition policy.

His work has appeared in top academic journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Management, Information Systems Research, Research Policy, and has been prized with prestigious acknowledgments and awards. His (single-authored) article “Competing in Digital Markets: A Platform-based Perspective” has received the Best Published Article from the Academy of Managment in Seattle, August 2022. His article coauthored with Michael G. Jacobides and Annabelle Gawer “Towards a Theory of Ecosystems” has been the most downloaded and read article of the Strategic Managment Journal since its publication.

On policy competition, he launched the Digital Market Competition Forum, an initiative to bridge academic research and practice on the ways digital platforms create value in the digital economy and promote a research agenda on the pressing challenges for competition regulation in digital markets. was one of three scholars (along with Fiona Scott Morton and Heike Schweitzer) invited by the European Parliament committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) to review the EU Digital Markets Act. Also, he has provided comments on the UK CMA’s Facebook/GIPHY merger investigation, as well as on the recent discussion paper by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on the need for new regulation for digital platform services markets. He has also authored different articles on digital platforms regulation in relation to innovation and competition dynamics and the issue of “ecosystem failures”. Carmelo is also the director of the Platform Economy & Regulation monitor, a recently launched initiative at the SDA Bocconi School of Managment to conduct research on the management practices, innovation and competition dynamics in the platform economy, and their implications for policy.    

Dynamic Competition Initiative

Supported by Berkeley Haas & EUI Department of Law