Microsoft and GitHub both supply tools that organisations and individuals use when developing and releasing software ("DevOps tools"). In particular, (i) both companies provide access to platforms for software development allowing developers to collaborate on source code and (ii) both provide code editors (computer programs designed specifically for editing source code) and integrated development environments (applications consisting of a code editor, as well as additional features such as intelligent code completion).
The Commission found that the combination of Microsoft and GitHub's activities on these markets would raise no competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face significant competition from other players on both markets.
The Commission also assessed whether there would be a risk of weakened competition, if Microsoft were to leverage the popularity of GitHub's software development platform to boost its own sales of DevOps tools and cloud services. In particular, the Commission looked at whether Microsoft would have the ability and incentive to further integrate its own DevOps tools and cloud services with GitHub while limiting integration with third parties' DevOps tools and cloud services.
The market investigation confirmed that Microsoft would not have the market power toundermine the open nature of GitHub to the detriment of competing DevOps tools and cloud services. This is because such behaviour would reduce the value of GitHub for developers, who are willing and able to switch to other platforms.
Therefore, following its phase I investigation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in any of the affected markets and cleared the case unconditionally.
Companies and products
Microsoft is a global technology company based in the US active in the design, development and supply of computer software, hardware devices and related services, cloud-based solutions, online advertising, recruiting and professional social network services.
GitHub is a US based company active in the supply of DevOps tools and in particular a popular platform for software development.
Merger control rules and procedures
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 14 September 2018.
The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).