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Judicial review of merger decisions: An overview of EU and national case law

In a landmark judgment of 19 March 2009, the Irish High Court annulled a prohibition decision of the Irish Competition Authority (“CA”) blocking the acquisition by Kerry Group of Breeo Foods [1]. As a result of the annulment, Breeo Foods became part of the Kerry Group on 26 March 2009 [2] , just seven days after the High Court's judgment and less than seven months after the CA's initial decision to prohibit the transaction [3]. The CA's 29 August 2008 decision had prohibited the merger after a five month in-depth review, finding that it would substantially lessen competition across the markets for rashers, non-poultry cooked meats and processed cheese. The relevant reasoning of the CA was twofold. It concluded: (i) that private label brands would not provide sufficient competition to

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