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The Allocation of Jurisdiction in International Antitrust

  • Damien J. NEVEN
  • Lars-Hendrik RÖLLER

In this paper, we consider the organisation of international antitrust as an issue of institution design which involves a trade-off between an inadequate internalisation of external effects across jurisdictions and the risk of capture in a centralised agency. We focus on the first element of the trade-off and on merger control. We first point out that the current framework of public international law allows for wide discretion in the assertion of jurisdiction. We then consider various allocation of jurisdictions in a stylised model of international merger control which attempts to capture the essential features of the objectives being pursued and of the procedures being implemented in the major jurisdictions. We find that in this framework, much of the scope for conflict disappears. The fact that conflicts actually often arise in global industries must then be associated with the pursuit of objectives that antitrust authorities are not supposed to pursue. We also find that the allocation of jurisdiction matters surprisingly little for the final outcome.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 9916.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review, vol. 44(4-6), May 2000, pp. 845-855
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:9916
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Henrik Horn & James Levinsohn, 1997. "Merger Policies and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  3. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  4. Richardson, Martin, 1999. "Trade and Competition Policies: Concordia Discors?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 649-64, October.
  5. Keith Head & John Ries, 1997. "International Mergers and Welfare under Decentralized Competition Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 1104-23, November.
  6. Barros, Pedro P. & Cabral, Luis, 1994. "Merger policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1041-1055, May.
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