Do We Need an Efficiency Defence?
Edited by Fabienne IIzkovitz and Roderick Meiklejohn
Chapter 1: M & A Activity and Merger Control since 1991
1. M&A activity and merger control since 1991 Roderick Meiklejohn The purpose of this chapter is to provide some background for the discussion which follows about the eﬃciency eﬀects of mergers. We outline the recent history of merger activity in the former ﬁfteen-member EU (EU15) and in the New Member States.1 The New Member States are discussed separately, since most of them have only recently made the transition to market economies and their pattern of M&A activity is therefore quite idiosyncratic. Since this book is concerned in particular with the regulatory treatment of mergers, section 3 brings together some information on the number of mergers subject to merger control procedures in various jurisdictions, especially the EU, the sectors concerned and the outcome of the procedures. In the last section we compare the statistical data on the merger wave of the 1990s in the EU and the USA. The aim of this comparison is to see whether the wave behaviour of merger activity yields any general lessons about the motivation of mergers, in particular the role played by prospective eﬃciency gains. 1. M&A ACTIVITY IN THE EU152 Overview of the Period 1991–2004 The merger wave of the 1980s reached its peak in the EU in 1991. In the following six years, the number of M&A ﬂuctuated quite widely but remained below the 1991 level, although the total value of transactions began to increase steeply in 1995 (see Table 1.1). In the main, the...
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