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Despite the introduction of the U.S. – EC merger review co-operation initiative in the early nineties transatlantic mergers remain a minefield for all those involved. For the parties there is the lack of legal certainty and its attendant costs and reputation; for the regulators there is the political toll of reconciling conflicting competition policies.
Charles Smitherman reviews merger regulation frameworks on both sides of the Atlantic. The author identifies areas of substantive and procedural differences as they exist today and explores the viability of convergence to aid the efficiency of the merger process through bilateral and domestic enhancements. Throughout the work the emphasis is placed on pragmatic solutions rather than those of academic and oft-unobtainable nature.
The backbone of the work is made up of the analysis of eight of the biggest U.S. – EC merger cases between 2000 and 2004. In order to provide a thorough and sound examination of the case studies, the author conducted interviews with legal practitioners in the U.S. and Europe and regulators at the European commission, Department of Justice and the Federal Trade commission who were personally involved in the regulatory review for each case. There is also extensive analysis of individual case-filings from the merger transactions, public addresses and presentations by U.S. and EC regulators, practitioners and economists. The case studies closely follow the interview methodology and format of those presented in the OECD commissioned Wood-Whish report.
Transnational Merger Cases will be useful to practitioners, regulators and policy makers in the merger review regimes of both the U.S. and EC. Those engaged in newer competition regimes around the world and advocates of a mutilateral competition framework also stand much to gain from the U.S. – EC experience and its treatment here.