The Bundeskartellamt, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have agreed on a joint statement on merger control. The joint statement reflects the common understanding of all three authorities that consistent merger enforcement is the key to preserve competition and diversity. The agency heads Andreas Mundt (President of the Bundeskartellamt), Andrea Coscelli (Chief Executive of the CMA), and Rod Sims (Chairman of the ACCC) met at a virtual conference to discuss joint challenges for merger control like the digital economy, globalization, and the impact of COVID-19.
Andreas Mundt said, “Effective merger control is the most powerful instrument we have to prevent too much market power falling into the hands of only a few companies. We see particularly strong market concentration in the digital economy. Further takeovers and mergers can cause tipping in the market or create ecosystems which are almost incontestable for competitors. Stringent merger control is therefore indispensable.”
Andrea Coscelli said, “As our countries emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, competition will have a crucial role to play in helping our economies grow. That’s why I am delighted to be standing with our counterparts in Australia and Germany on this timely statement.”
Rod Sims said, “I am delighted to be releasing this joint statement with our UK and German counterpart authorities. We all recognise that competition is fundamental to the success of a market economy. Competition crucially depends on effective merger control.”
In their joint statement the three authorities express their agreement on the principles of effective merger control. As a tool to proactively keep markets open and preserve diversity, it allows competition authorities to prevent harm to consumers before it has been caused. Competition increases consumer trust in markets and drives the functioning of market economies and economic prosperity with low prices, choice, quality, and innovation. At the same time, companies that face competition are more successful at home and abroad.
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