The French Minister of Economy requires in Phase I important remedies to address concerns of bundling in a merger of newspapers and magazines publishers (LVMH / Les Echos)

On 19 December 2007 the French Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment (hereafter “the Minister”) cleared, after a “Phase I” investigation, the acquisition by the group LVMH of Les Echos S.A., publisher of the leading business newspaper Les Echos and of magazines [1] specialised in economic and financial news. The approval was subject to substantial structural and behavioural remedies aimed to address horizontal and conglomerate concerns (bundling). Yet, on the basis of the Minister's letter, behavioural commitments may have not been necessary since it is not clear that bundling would have had the effect of reducing competition. Although such commitments may make it easier for rivals to compete, arguably in the long term consumer welfare is enhanced if firms are encouraged to compete

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Francesco Rosati, The French Minister of Economy requires in Phase I important remedies to address concerns of bundling in a merger of newspapers and magazines publishers (LVMH / Les Echos), 19 December 2007, e-Competitions Bulletin December 2007, Art. N° 16045

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