Merger Control in the European Union and the United States: Just the Facts

European Competition Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 89-125, April 2011

Posted: 2 Dec 2011

See all articles by Mats Bergman

Mats Bergman

Södertörn University, Stockholm

Malcolm B. Coate

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Maria Jakobsson

Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Shawn W. Ulrick

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2011

Abstract

Using a combination of public and internal information, this paper compares and contrasts European Union (EU) and United States (US) merger policies. Common economic analysis leads both authorities to subject remarkably comparable portfolios of mergers to close scrutiny. Vertical mergers account for less than 10%, and potential competition matters for around 5%, of in-depth merger investigations in both jurisdictions, while purely conglomerate mergers are extremely rare or non-existent. The share of collusion investigations falls over time in both jurisdictions. However, the US relies on collusion theory more than three times as often as the EU, where over 80% of the horizontal cases address dominance. Across both regimes, roughly one eighth of all recent horizontal investigations have been analysed as non-dominance unilateral-effects cases. Only minor differences in the average probability of a merger being challenged are observed when controlling for market share. The 2004 EU reforms seem to be leading towards at least some convergence of enforcement policy.

Keywords: Collusion, Competition, Antitrust Law

JEL Classification: K21, L41

Suggested Citation

Bergman, Mats A. and Coate, Malcolm B. and Jakobsson, Maria and Ulrick, Shawn W., Merger Control in the European Union and the United States: Just the Facts (April 1, 2011). European Competition Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 89-125, April 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1964808

Mats A. Bergman

Södertörn University, Stockholm ( email )

Alfred Nobels allé 7, Flemingsberg
Stockholm, Stockholm 14189
Sweden

Malcolm B. Coate (Contact Author)

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ( email )

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

Maria Jakobsson

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

Shawn W. Ulrick

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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