Chapter 9: Ten Years of European Merger Control – Paul Seabright, Chairman’s Comments – Derek Morris
European Union merger control is ten years old this year. An infant 16 years in the gestation has grown to maturity in far less time. Such an anniversary inevitably invites an assessment, but it is not always obvious what questions one may reasonably ask. The birth of the infant was attended by considerable scepticism that it could cope with even the simplest practicalities of life: would the Commission’s resources prove adequate to the workload; would the European system really ensure speed, a one-stop shop and the legal certainty that the Commission’s procedures in other areas of competition policy had so conspicuously failed to provide? So it is tempting to confine my assessment to an expression of considerable admiration that the infant has survived at all (not to mention displaying a nimbleness and agility one might not have anticipated from an observation of its parenthood), while noting the various remaining areas of procedural contention regarding its future role in life.
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