DP10959 Effective European Antitrust: Does EC Merger Policy Generate Deterrence

Author(s): Joseph A. Clougherty, Tomaso Duso, Miyu Lee, Jo Seldeslachts
Publication Date: November 2015
Keyword(s): competition policy, deterrence, European Commission, merger policy
JEL(s): K21, K40, L40
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10959

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.