Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Merger Action Group v. Secretary of State for BERR: External Control of the Scottish Economy, Merger Control and the Scottish 'Ring-fence': the LloydsTSB/HBOS Merger
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Barry Rodger (University of Strathclyde Law School) has been doing some very interesting empirical work on private rights of action in the UK. In a departure from that work, he takes on the issue of merger control and nationalism in the UK (think Braveheart but in an antitrust context) in Merger Action Group v. Secretary of State for BERR: External Control of the Scottish Economy, Merger Control and the Scottish 'Ring-fence': the LloydsTSB/HBOS Merger.
The recent merger between Lloyds/TSB and HBOS has again raised concerns regarding the increase in external control of Scottish companies and also demonstrates many facets of the merger control system in the United Kingdom which was revised by the Enterprise Act 2002. The legal context for consideration of the merger is the challenge to the merger approval process by a number of interested third parties based in Scotland, grouped together as the Merger Action Group, (“MAG”) before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”).
However, this brief article will focus more on the economic and legal context in which the challenge arose rather than the outcome of the review proceedings, providing a particularly personal view of the merger and its potential impact on the Scottish economy.