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

62 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2010  

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)

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Date Written: March 4, 2010

Abstract

Using a combination of public and internal information, this paper compares and contrasts EU and US merger policies. Common economics seems to lead both authorities to consider remarkably comparable portfolios of mergers once the nominal differences in the regimes (US reviews more cases) are addressed. Vertical mergers account for less than ten percent and potential competition matters for around five percent of all mergers in both jurisdictions, while purely conglomerate mergers are extremely rare or non-existent. The share of collusion investigations fall over time in both jurisdictions. However, the US relies on collusion theory more than three times as often as the EU, where 85 percent of the horizontal cases concern dominance. Across both regimes, roughly one eighth of all recent horizontal mergers have been analyzed as non-dominance unilateral-effects cases. Only minor differences in the average probability of challenge are observed when controlling for market share. We also find that the EU is more prone to accept (or require) weak remedies and much less likely to consider efficiencies. The 2004 EU reforms seem to be leading towards at least some convergence on enforcement policy.

Keywords: Merger Policy, Competition Policy, Merger Guidelines, European Union, Dominance

JEL Classification: k21, l40

Suggested Citation

Bergman, Mats and Coate, Malcolm B. and Jakobsson, Maria and Ulrick, Shawn W., Merger Control in the European Union and the United States: Just the Facts (March 4, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1565026 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1565026

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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