Chapter 10: Conclusion and proposals for reform
For decades, the increasing costs generated by the application of concurrent national jurisdiction over competition laws has sparked debate about the possible benefits to be derived from a more coordinated or centralized system of rules and enforcement in this field. In recent years the costs and burdens associated with the review of transnational mergers has increasingly become the focus of attention. The estimated value of annual worldwide merger activity is now calculated in the trillions of dollars and, as firms seek to establish scale in global markets, the resulting mergers are increasingly transnational in their impact and in the regulatory responses they attract. They also have the potential to significantly and concurrently impact on the economies of several states. Any benchmark of an existing regulatory model with possible alternative approaches necessitates a clear understanding of what is sought to be achieved by regulation. It was to this question that Chapter 2 was directed. The most appropriate goal for transnational merger regulation was identified as modern consumer welfare, defined to include not only efficiencies that lead to a reduction in price for consumers, but also those that result in broader consumer benefits, most importantly, increased choice and quality. However, this definition does not extend to other goals, such as promoting national champions or the protection of small business.
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