Friday, November 30, 2007
Competition Law and the Regulation of Cross Border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Story of Conflict, Cooperation and Convergence
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Ariel Ezrachi of Oxford's Law Faculty provides his analysis of Competition Law and the Regulation of Cross Border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Story of Conflict, Cooperation and Convergence.
ABSTRACT: Cross-border merger control has traditionally been a difficult subject for multilateral co-operation, let alone harmonization. The multitude of interests at stake and the heterogeneous multilateral environment mean that attempts to reduce inefficiencies stemming out of multi-jurisdictional merger review face resistance at various levels. This paper examines the friction generated by the misfit between national merger control and cross-border economic activity. It considers the domestic nature of merger control and the way it affects the feasibility and effectiveness of cooperation in merger regulation. It explores the contribution and limits of binding and voluntary multilateral initiatives in advancing convergence in this area. It further considers the role of bilateral cooperation in a multilateral setting. The discussion echoes the challenges for undertakings and agencies operating in the current sub-optimal environment of multiple enforcers. It identifies voluntary multilateral frameworks as the most promising vehicle for advancing future convergence, and provides insight as to the catalysts to, and limits of, these voluntary frameworks.