Did Lloyds/HBOS Mark the Failure of an Enduring Economics Based System of Merger Regulation?

Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 2011

16 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2011  

Andreas Stephan

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

UK Merger control is an example of regulation which has shifted from a public interest regime to an economics based system of competition assessment. This paper asks whether the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS in 2008, on public interest grounds, marked the failure of an enduring economics based system of merger regulation. It argues that far from marking a failure, the Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger highlights the importance of only allowing public interest interventions on exceptional grounds in specific industries. Economics based merger control is transparent and preferable to general public interest assessments, which are unpredictable and open to abuse.

Keywords: Mergers, Public Interest, Financial Crisis, Lloyds TSB, HBOS

JEL Classification: K21, G21, G33, G34

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Andreas, Did Lloyds/HBOS Mark the Failure of an Enduring Economics Based System of Merger Regulation? (July 1, 2011). Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931007 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1931007

Andreas Stephan (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy ( email )

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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