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Merger Performance and Efficiencies in Horizontal Merger Policy in the US and the EU

S. P. Kamerbeek

Van Doorne N.V. ; University of Utrecht - Faculty of Law

June 19, 2009

In current horizontal merger policy in the US and the EU an explicit efficiency defense is allowed. On both sides of the Atlantic mergers are unconditionally approved if internal efficiencies are sufficient to reverse the mergers’ potential to harm consumers in the relevant market. Current merger policy is implicitly based on the assumption that rational managers will only propose privately profitable mergers. In this thesis I will show that the empirical evidence on merger performance suggests that this assumption can’t be sustained. Managers do propose uneconomic mergers, motivated by non-wealth maximizing behavior. To tackle this problem I argue that efficiencies should not only be used as an efficiency defense, but efficiencies should work both ways. To avoid type I and type II errors the competition authorities in the US and the EU should undertake a sequential efficiency test in their assessment of specific mergers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: Merger, policy, efficiency, competition, law, market power, test

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Date posted: September 19, 2009 ; Last revised: July 4, 2010

Suggested Citation

Kamerbeek, S. P., Merger Performance and Efficiencies in Horizontal Merger Policy in the US and the EU (June 19, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475533 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1475533

Contact Information

Sjoerd Paul Kamerbeek (Contact Author)
Van Doorne N.V. ( email )
Jachthavenweg 121
P.O. Box 75265
Amsterdam, 1070
HOME PAGE: http://www.van-doorne.com/en/About-us/Our-people/Sjoerd-Kamerbeek/?p=172
University of Utrecht - Faculty of Law ( email )
Janskerkhof 3
Utrecht, 3512 BK
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