Thursday, November 17, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Andreas Stephan, University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy asks Did Lloyds/HBOS Mark the Failure of an Enduring Economics Based System of Merger Regulation?
ABSTRACT: UK Merger control is an example of regulation which has shifted from a public interest regime to an economics based system of competition assessment. This paper asks whether the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS in 2008, on public interest grounds, marked the failure of an enduring economics based system of merger regulation. It argues that far from marking a failure, the Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger highlights the importance of only allowing public interest interventions on exceptional grounds in specific industries. Economics based merger control is transparent and preferable to general public interest assessments, which are unpredictable and open to abuse.