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
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)
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)
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
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
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)
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)