A Global View of Innovation Analysis in EC Merger Control
18 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2013 Last revised: 23 Jan 2018
Date Written: October 7, 2013
During 20 years of merger control in the EU, no fundamental legal analysis on the treatment of innovation in the European Commission’s decisions has ever been performed, and economic literature on technological progress has not thus far been incorporated into legal doctrine. The sound of silence in legal doctrine also speaks a great deal about how the current antitrust regime deals with innovation challenges. This paper can be seen as a legal microcosm, exploring in a very compressed form the major issues of innovation analysis in the Commission’s voluminous decisional practice in the field of structural control. First, I attempt to identify the most common patterns of innovation cases. Then, I raise specific problems and challenging questions that repeatedly arise in the Commission’s decisions.
The global examination of innovation concerns in phase II merger decisions, as presented in this paper, is empirically based on a detailed and exhaustive review of the 155 phase II merger decisions that had been taken by the Commission from the establishment of merger control at Community level in December 1989 to September 2008.
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