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The duration of the EC merger control process: Determinants and the impact of the 2004 merger regulation reform

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  • Heim, Sven
  • Hüschelrath, Kai
  • Laitenberger, Ulrich

Abstract

The duration of merger proceedings held by competition authorities is an important determinant of the efficiency of the entire merger control process. We use a dataset of 2953 Phase I and 92 Phase II investigations completed by the European Commission (EC) between 1999 and 2008 to examine the key determinants of their duration. Differentiating between authority- and caserelated drivers, we find that while the duration of Phase I investigations largely depends on the type of decision and use of simplified procedure, the duration of Phase II investigations is driven by factors such as industry knowledge, the duration of the preceding Phase I investigation, the origin of the notifying firm or the number of identified relevant markets. We also provide evidence that the significant increase in average duration identified after the 2004 merger regulation reform does not imply a decrease in administrative efficiency, as the probability of indepth investigations was correspondingly reduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Heim, Sven & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2015. "The duration of the EC merger control process: Determinants and the impact of the 2004 merger regulation reform," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-063, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15063
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Florian Smuda & Patrice Bougette & Kai Hüschelrath, 2015. "Determinants of the Duration of European Appellate Court Proceedings in Cartel Cases," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(6), pages 1352-1369, November.
    2. 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.
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    4. Tomaso Duso & Klaus Gugler & Florian Szücs, 2013. "An Empirical Assessment of the 2004 EU Merger Policy Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(11), pages 596-619, November.
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    6. Mats Bergman & Malcolm Coate & Maria Jakobsson & Shawn Ulrick, 2010. "Comparing Merger Policies in the European Union and the United States," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(4), pages 305-331, June.
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    8. Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Smuda, Florian, 2012. "Cartel enforcement in the European Union: Determinants of the duration of investigations," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-071, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    12. Elzinga, Kenneth G, 1969. "The Antimerger Law: Pyrrhic Victories?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 43-78, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    competition policy; ex-post evaluation; merger control; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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