The proposed merger of Publicis and Omnicom would create an entity that accounts for 40% of U.S. media spending and has a large pool of consumer data, and regulators could scrutinize the deal if they think it will affect pricing or privacy, observers say. "It's too early to tell. ... What antitrust agencies will focus on is whether this is going to raise prices. When you get to 40% market share, that is sometimes meaningful, sometimes less meaningful," said former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

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