An Empirical Assessment of the 2004 EU Merger Policy Reform

Duso, Tomaso and Gugler, Klaus and Szücs, Florian (2013) An Empirical Assessment of the 2004 EU Merger Policy Reform. The Economic Journal, 123 (572). pp. 596-619. ISSN 1468-0297


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Based on a database of 368 merger cases scrutinized by the European Commission (EC) between 1990 and 2007, we evaluate the economic impact of the change in European merger legislation in 2004. We propose a general framework to assess merger policy effectiveness, focusing on four different policy dimensions: 1) predictability, 2) decision errors, 3) reversion of anti-competitive rents, and 4) deterrence. We compare the results before and after the reform, finding that the "more economic approach" resulted in improved ex-ante predictability of decisions and a reduction of the frequency of type I errors. Merger policy enforcement deters anti-competitive mergers without over-deterring pro-competitive transactions. Yet, the policy shift away from prohibitions, which are effective as a policy tool and as a deterrence mechanism, does not seem to be well grounded. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version may require a subscription. The original publication is available at
Keywords: merger control / regulatory reform / EU Commission / event-study
Classification Codes: JEL L4, K21, C13, D78
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft > Quantitative Volkswirtschaftslehre
Version of the Document: Draft
Variance from Published Version: Minor
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2013 11:11
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 12:36


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