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Google's acquisition of Looker Data Sciences approved by UK's competition authority

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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved Google’s acquisition of Looker, a data sciences firm. According to the CMA, the decision follows an extensive review which explored how the merger could adversely affect competition. The government department began accepting comments about the acquisition on December 2 and launched its inquiry on December 16.

During the review process, the department looked at various factors but two key points it honed in on were whether the loss of Looker as a direct competitor would lead to increased prices or reductions in quality. It said this was an unlikely result as other providers like Microsoft, Oracle, Tableau, SAP, and IBM still compete against Google.

The second item it looked at was whether the acquisition would allow Google to leverage its power to drive rival business intelligence firms out of the market. The CMA found that Google does have the power to make it difficult for rivals to access Google-generated data they may need for online ads or web analytics services but found no strong evidence it would have an incentive to do this.

The Competition and Markets Authority also noted that it worked with the United States' Department of Justice and Austria's Federal Competition Authority to help make the appropriate decision regarding this acquisition.

In a statement, CEO of Google Cloud, Thomas Kurian, said:

“I’m pleased to announce that Google has completed its acquisition of Looker. Together, we're excited to offer customers a comprehensive analytics solution that integrates and visualizes insights at every layer of their business.”

Looker's CEO in a statement said that customers would still have the choice to use other cloud data management systems like Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Teradata. The CEO, Frank Bien, went on to say that product integration plans and a roadmap will be released in the coming months.

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