Volume 27 (2004) / Issue 2
In this article the author describes and discusses some aspects of the European merger control reform. The article first briefly outlines the main legislative and non-legislative measures integrating the merger control reform package. It then analyses the major changes introduced by this reform in three fields: jurisdiction, substance and procedure. As regards jurisdiction, the author focuses mostly on the newly introduced system of ``streamlined referrals''. The article gives an overview of the new system of referrals and analyses whether this system will bring about the results it is expected to achieve. As regards substance, the article first briefly discusses the background to the change in the substantive test to be applied by the European Commission in its assessment of mergers. It then analyses whether the substantive test as adopted in the New EC Merger Regulation will bring about a fundamental lowering in the level of intervention in merger cases. The author further identifies some of the hurdles associated with a more systematic use of efficiency-related arguments in merger analysis. As regards procedure, the article first briefly explains the background to the changes and gives an overview of its most relevant features. The author then gives his views on these procedural changes and considers whether they constitute an appropriate answer to the criticisms levelled against the Commission's prior practice in this area.
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