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Let’s Not Stick Together: Anticipation of Cartel and Merger Control in The Netherlands

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  • Barbara Baarsma

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  • Ron Kemp
  • Rob Noll
  • Jo Seldeslachts

Abstract

Does enforcement action by the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) in the case of cartels and mergers produce an anticipatory effect? We use surveys among firms and their advisers to test whether merger plans that may fail to gain clearance from the NMa are not notified and whether the possibility of detection helps to reduce the number of cartels. Our results indicate that enforcement action by the NMa has a preventive effect. Surveys among companies show that 5 % of the notified mergers were modified before notification to forestall possible objections from the NMa. Moreover, for every 100 notifications of mergers there are 13 proposed mergers that are later on abandoned due to merger control. Companies also take account of the Competition Act when drafting contracts, conducting negotiations and holding meetings. Our survey among lawyers and other advisers shows that for every sanction decision taken by the NMa there are almost 5 cases in which, unbeknown to the NMa, a prohibited act has been terminated or modified in response to advice on competition law. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Baarsma & Ron Kemp & Rob Noll & Jo Seldeslachts, 2012. "Let’s Not Stick Together: Anticipation of Cartel and Merger Control in The Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 357-376, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:160:y:2012:i:4:p:357-376
    DOI: 10.1007/s10645-012-9193-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jo Seldeslachts & Joseph A. Clougherty & Pedro Pita Barros, 2009. "Settle for Now but Block for Tomorrow: The Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy Tools," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 607-634, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph A. Clougherty & Tomaso Duso & Miyu Lee & Jo Seldeslachts, 2016. "Effective European Antitrust: Does Ec Merger Policy Generate Deterrence?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1884-1903, October.
    2. Stefania Grezzana, 2016. "Lost In Time And Space: The Deterrence Effect Of Cartel Busts On The Retail Gasoline Market," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 158, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition enforcement; Deterrence; Cartel prohibition; Merger control; K21; K42; L40;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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