Is European M&A Regulation Protectionist?

46 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2004

See all articles by Nihat Aktas

Nihat Aktas

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Eric de Bodt


Richard Roll

California Institute of Technology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2006


Why do regulatory authorities scrutinize mergers and acquisitions? The authorities themselves claim to be combating monopoly power and protecting consumers. But the last two decades of empirical research has found little supporting evidence for such motives. An alternative is that M&A regulation is actually designed to protect privileged firms. We provide a test of protectionism by studying whether European regulatory intervention is more likely when European firms are harmed by increased competition. Our findings raise a suspicion of protectionist motivations by the European regulator during the nineties. The results are robust to many statistical difficulties, including endogeneity between investor valuations and regulatory actions.

Keywords: merger and acquisition regulation protectionism

JEL Classification: G34 G38

Suggested Citation

Aktas, Nihat and de Bodt, Eric and Roll, Richard W., Is European M&A Regulation Protectionist? (February 2006). EFA 2004 Maastricht Meetings Paper No. 2318, Available at SSRN: or

Nihat Aktas (Contact Author)

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179

Eric De Bodt

NHH-Caltech ( email )

Kraainem, 1950
+32 475 24 01 69 (Phone)

Richard W. Roll

California Institute of Technology ( email )

1200 East California Blvd
Mail Code: 228-77
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626-395-3890 (Phone)
310-836-3532 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics