In this issue:

Protectionist sentiments are becoming more significant in merger control considerations, especially in Europe. Can public interest exemptions or other protectionist considerations bring benefits that would justify potentially harmful side-effects from overriding competition-based analyses? Our first four papers, led by the U.K.’s new CMA, look to answer just that question. And the first paper in our Of Special Interest section also concerns protectionism as David S. Evans explains how the EU’s proposed payments legislation can harm consumers. Finally, Neale Mahoney, André Veiga, & Glen Weyl close with interesting food for thought involving cream-skimming: Can there be too much competition in selection markets?


Protectionism and Merger Control

Alex Chisholm, Nelson Jung, Oct 15, 2014

The Public Interest and Competition-Based Scrutiny of Mergers: Lessons from the Evolution of Merger Control in the United Kingdom

In light of the recent, increasingly vocal demand for new or wider public interest considerations, it is time to take stock and explore what implications a shift or reversal in policy of this type may have. Alex Chisholm & Nelson Jung (U.K. Competition and Markets Authority)

Rachel Brandenburger, Mark Jones, Oct 15, 2014

Protectionism or Legitimate National Interest? A European Perspective on the Review of Corporate Acquisitions by Foreign Purchasers

It has shown that, although there may be debate about the merits or otherwise of intervention against corporate acquisitions by foreign acquirers, there are in reality significant constraints on the ability of EU governments to intervene in pursuit of such objectives. Rachel Brandenburger* & Mark Jones (Hogan Lovells)

Timothy Cowen, Oct 15, 2014

Protectionism in Merger Control: Is the Process of Merger Control Adequate to Consider Wider Public Interest Issues? Is it Now Time for CFIEU?

A case can be made for a more coordinated EU system of parallel oversight. Timothy R. W. Cowen

David Reader, Oct 15, 2014

Pfizer/AstraZeneca and the Public Interest: Do U.K. Foreign Takeover Proposals Prescribe an Effective Remedy?

There is often a fine line to be drawn between measures that seek to protect the national interest and those that go further to promote economic patriotism. David Reader (Centre for Competition Policy, Univ. of East Anglia)

Of Special Interest

David Evans, Oct 15, 2014

How the Proposed Payments Legislation Will Restrain Competition Among Payment Card Schemes and Harm Consumers in the European Union

If adopted in the current form, [the payment legislation] will reduce competition among payment systems in the EU, impede the entry of new schemes, weaken innovation, and decrease consumer choice. David S. Evans (Global Economics Group, Univ. of Chicago)

Neale Mahoney, Andre Veiga, Glen Weyl, Oct 15, 2014

Competition Policy in Selection Markets

We have found that in many realistic cases there can be too much competition in selection markets and that, even when this is not the case, many standard intuitions of competition policy are reversed by the presence of selection. Neale Mahoney (Univ. of Chicago), André Veiga (Nuffield College, Oxford Univ.), & Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research, Univ. of Chicago)