Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

US vs. EU merger regimes: US is more predictable and tougher on strong dominance and oligopoly cases

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

I recently covered US vs. EU merger control systems in my international and comparative antitrust class.  A cross Atlantic team of scholars has compared the two systems with interesting results in a paper entitled Comparing Merger Policies: The European Union versus the United States.

Abstract: Merger regulation affects large transactions in the market for corporate control in both the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). This paper compares the merger enforcement policies of the two regions using descriptions of the merger investigations prepared by the staff of the EU and the Federal Trade Commission. The policies are found to share a common foundation with substantial weight being placed on both the market structure characteristics and the likelihood of effective entry.
US enforcement was broader-based in that it scrutinized markets that might be characterized as raising oligopoly, unilateral, and dominant firm concerns, while the EU policy focused largely on market dominance. Neither regime is found to be stricter in all circumstances, since the market and firm characteristics impact the enforcement decisions differently. However, we find that the regime is more predictable (given our measures of the explanatory variables), tougher on strong dominance cases and oligopoly cases, but more permissive on weak dominance cases.

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» EU and US merger policies compared from EU Law Blog
Thanks to Daniel Sokol of the University of Wisconsin Law School and of the Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog, our attention has been drawn to an interesting article comparing US and EU merger policies. The article is written by a [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 28, 2007 2:08:45 PM


It would be interesting to see a similar comparison in the deregulated network markets (e.g. telecoms, electricity and gas). I think a very different conclusion would result.

Posted by: Jack S. | Mar 28, 2007 6:11:35 AM

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