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

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3880
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  6. Schwert, G. William, 1996. "Markup pricing in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 153-192, June.
  7. Neven, Damien J. & Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 2005. "Consumer surplus vs. welfare standard in a political economy model of merger control," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 829-848, December.
  8. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
  9. Eckbo, B Espen & Wier, Peggy, 1985. "Antimerger Policy under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act: A Reexamination of the Market Power Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 119-149, April.
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  12. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2000. "Why Event Studies Do Not Detect Anti-Competitive Mergers," Working Paper Series 542, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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  16. 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.
  17. Sven-Olof Fridolfsson & Johan Stennek, 2005. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits And Raise Share Prices-A Theory Of Preemptive Mergers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1083-1104, 09.
  18. Brady, Una & M. Feinberg, Robert, 2000. "An examination of stock-price effects of EU merger control policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 885-900, August.
  19. Stillman, Robert, 1983. "Examining antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 225-240, April.
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  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. 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.
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