Swiss Competition Commission approves merger of local.ch and search.ch
By Gabriele Accardo
On March 24, 2015, the Swiss Competition Commission (“COMCO”) approved (press release available in French or in Italian) the merger between Swisscom Directories Ltd (“local.ch”) and search.ch despite the fact that the concentration will result in the creation of a dominant position in the online directories market. Swisscom Directories, with its online directories platform local.ch and its Local Guide phone directories business, is a leading advertiser and provider of directories in Switzerland. search.ch is a leading search and information service in Switzerland. Amongst other things, it offers an electronic telephone directory, an interactive map, a route planner, local weather reports, and up-to-date TV and cinema listings.
Following an in-depth investigation, COMCO concluded that effective competition would not be impeded because the two companies will continue to operate as separate services to create strong Swiss alternatives to global providers of search engines, such as Google and social networks, such as Facebook.