Is merger control more stringent in the EU or in the US ?

Is the European Commission more interventionist or more stringent than the US antitrust authorities? As far as merger control is concerned, the spontaneous answer would be to say yes. The European decision in 2001 on the acquisition of Honeywell by General Electric is still in our minds. The European Commission prohibited the transaction whereas the US Department of Justice cleared it with conditions. The paper shows that the statistical analysis of the 74 other M&As that have been reviewed by both the EU and the US competition authorities does not confirm this first impression.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article in French, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of analyses of the differences and similarities between merger control in the United States and in Europe. Initially confined to a small number of controversial decisions by the European Commission, the analyses have subsequently gained momentum with the reform of Regulation 4064/89. The prohibition of the takeover of Honeywell by General Electric has drawn attention to the difference in the assessment of European and US competition authorities regarding portfolio effects. These anti-competitive effects related to range extension and joint product offerings had already been the cause of the

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  • Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris

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François Lévêque, Is merger control more stringent in the EU or in the US ?, May 2005, Concurrences N° 2-2005, Art. N° 1485, pp. 20-23

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