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An Economic Assessment of EC Merger Control: 1957-2007

CCP Working Paper No. 08-17

58 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2008  

Bruce Lyons

University of East Anglia

Date Written: March 2008


This paper provides an assessment of EC merger policy from three perspectives. First, it places the evolution of merger policy alongside the evolution of economic ideas in relation to competition and industrial organisation. Second, it highlights recent developments in the practical economic appraisal of competition in four areas: unilateral (non-coordinated) effects, particularly the appropriate use of simulation techniques and the efficiency defence; coordinated effects (collective dominance), particularly the role of the Community Courts; non-horizontal effects, particularly the need for the new guidelines; and remedies, particularly weaknesses in current practice. Third, it develops a simple bargaining approach to merger policy evaluation to draw conclusions about the trend in overall effectiveness of EC merger policy since 1989.

Keywords: merger control, unilateral effects, collective dominance, remedies, merger policy

JEL Classification: C78, K21, L41

Suggested Citation

Lyons, Bruce, An Economic Assessment of EC Merger Control: 1957-2007 (March 2008). CCP Working Paper No. 08-17. Available at SSRN: or

Bruce Lyons (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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