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Effective European Antitrust: Does EC Merger Policy Generate Deterrence

Discussion Papers 1523, 42 S.

Joseph Clougherty, Tomaso Duso, Miyu Lee, Jo Seldeslachts


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Published in: Economic Inquiry 54 (2016), 4, S. 1884-1903


We estimate the deterrence effects of European Commission (EC) merger policy instruments over the 1990-2009 period. Our empirical results suggest that phase-1 remedies uniquely generate robust deterrence as – unlike phase-1 withdrawals, phase-2 remedies, and preventions – phase-1 remedies lead to fewer merger notifications in subsequent years. Furthermore, the deterrence effects of phase-1 remedies work best in high-concentration industries; i.e., industries where the HHI is above the 0.2 cut-off level employed by the EC. Additionally, we find that phase-1 remedies do not deter clearly pro-competitive mergers, but do deter potentially anti-competitive mergers in high-concentration industries.

Jo Seldeslachts

Research Associate in the Firms and Markets Department

Tomaso Duso

Head of Department in the Firms and Markets Department

JEL-Classification: K21;K40;L40
Keywords: Merger, deterrence, European Commission, merger policy, competition policy, antitrust
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)