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An empirical assessment of the 2004 EU merger policy reform

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  • Duso, Tomaso
  • Gugler, Klaus
  • Szücs, Florian

Abstract

We propose a general framework to assess merger policy effectiveness based on standard oligopoly theory and stock market reactions. We focus on four different dimensions of effectiveness: 1) legal certainty, 2) decision errors, 3) reversion of anti-competitive rents, and 4) deterrence. We apply this framework to 368 merger cases scrutinized by the European Commission (EC) between 1990 and 2007. To evaluate the economic impact of the change in European merger legislation, we compare the results of the four tests before and after its introduction in 2004. Our results suggest that the 'more economic approach' resulted in improved ex-ante predictability of decisions and a reduction of the frequency of type I errors. Merger policy enforcement deters anti-competitive mergers without over-deterring pro-competitive transactions. Yet, the policy shift away from prohibitions, which are effective as a policy tool and as a deterrent mechanism, does not seem to be well-grounded.

Suggested Citation

  • Duso, Tomaso & Gugler, Klaus & Szücs, Florian, 2012. "An empirical assessment of the 2004 EU merger policy reform," DICE Discussion Papers 58, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:58
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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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. Carletti, Elena & Ongena, Steven & Siedlarek, Jan-Peter & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2015. "The Impact of Merger Legislation on Bank Mergers," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 530, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Gugler, Klaus & Szücs, Florian, 2016. "Merger externalities in oligopolistic markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 230-254.
    4. Joseph Clougherty & Tomaso Duso, 2015. "Correcting for Self-Selection Based Endogeneity in Management Research: A Review and Empirical Demonstration," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1465, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Tomaso Duso & Jo Seldeslachts & Florian Szücs, 2017. "The Impact of Competition Policy Enforcement on the Functioning of EU Energy Markets," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1674, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Andreea Cosnita-Langlais, 2016. "Enforcement of Merger Control. Theoretical Insights for Its Procedural Design," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 67(HS1), pages 39-51.
    7. Sven Heim & Kai Hüschelrath & Ulrich Laitenberger, 2016. "The Duration of the EC Merger Control Process: Determinants and the Impact of the 2004 Merger Regulation Reform," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 37-62, February.
    8. Ghosal Vivek, 2011. "The Law and Economics of Enhancing Cartel Enforcement: Using Information From Non-Cartel Investigations to Prosecute Cartels," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 501-538, December.
    9. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Impact evaluation of merger control decisions," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 75, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    10. Ormosi, Peter L., 2012. "Tactical dilatory practice in litigation: Evidence from EC merger proceedings," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 370-377.
    11. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "Impact Evaluation of Merger Decisions," Working Papers 112/11, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    merger control; regulatory reform; EU Commission; event-study;

    JEL classification:

    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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