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The Political Economy of European Merger Control: Evidence Using Stock Market Data

  • Duso, Tomaso
  • Neven, Damien J
  • Röller, Lars-Hendrik

The objective of this Paper is to investigate the determinants of EU merger control decisions. We consider a sample of 164 EU merger control decisions and evaluate the anti-competitive consequences of these mergers from the reaction of the stock market price of competitors to the merging firms. We then account for the discrepancies between the actual decisions and what the stock market would have dictated in terms of the political economy surrounding the cases. Our results suggest that the commission’s decisions cannot be solely accounted for by the motive of protecting consumer surplus. The institutional and political environment does matter. As far as firms’ influence is concerned, however, our data suggests that the commission’s decisions are not sensitive to firms’ interests. Instead, the evidence suggests that other factors – such as country and industry effects, as well as market definition and procedural aspects – do play significant roles.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3880.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3880
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  7. Coate, Malcolm B & McChesney, Fred S, 1992. "Empirical Evidence on FTC Enforcement of the Merger Guidelines," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 277-93, April.
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  12. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Stennek, Johan & Verboven, Frank, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," Working Paper Series 543, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  13. Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2001. "The Effects of Mergers: An International Comparison," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-21, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  14. Salinger, M.A. & Schumann, L., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers And The Market Value Of Rivals: The In Play Effect," Papers fb-_88-03, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
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  16. Khemani, R S & Shapiro, Daniel M, 1993. "An Empirical Analysis of Canadian Merger Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 161-77, June.
  17. Neven, Damien J & Röller, Lars-Hendrik, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 2620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. George L. Mullin & Joseph C. Mullin & Wallace P. Mullin, 1995. "The Competitive Effects of Mergers: Stock Market Evidence from the U.S. Steel Dissolution Suit," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 314-330, Summer.
  19. Mark L. Sirower & Stephen F. O'Byrne, 1998. "The Measurement Of Post-Acquisition Performance: Toward A Value-Based Benchmarking Methodology," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 11(2), pages 107-121.
  20. Neven, Damien J., 2001. "How should "protection" be evaluated in Article III GATT disputes?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 421-444, June.
  21. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G. & Ruback, Richard S., 1992. "Does corporate performance improve after mergers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 135-175, April.
  22. Aktas, Nihat & de Bodt, Eric & Roll, Richard, 2004. "Market Response to European Regulation of Business Combinations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 731-757, December.
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