By Aoife White, Bloomberg
Antitrust enforcement is one of the most successful U.S. exports. Enforcers in more than 100 countries go after cartels and monopolists, and megadeals routinely require approval from several dozen authorities. Many of those today follow the model of the European Union competition commission: investigate, prosecute, and rule. In the U.S., absent a settlement, a court order is necessary to impose remedies.
The EU squeezes divestments and levies huge fines for cartels or monopoly abuse. It reviews all cases that affect several member states to ensure they comply with competition rules. Smaller matters are taken up by national authorities.
One of the most opaque merger authorities may be using its power as leverage in the trade war with the U.S. Its failure to issue a prompt decision on Qualcomm Inc.’s bid for NXP Semiconductors NV effectively killed a deal that had won approval elsewhere. Nvidia Corp.’s proposed acquisition of Mellanox Technologies Ltd., signed in March, awaits approval from China; U.S. authorities cleared it in May.