Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond
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Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond

Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers

This well-documented book comprises a stellar cast of European and American authors delivering an overview of cutting edge issues in the areas of trade and competition law, arising in the EU and beyond.
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Chapter 25: Making Sense of the Reactions to the 2010 US Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Barry E. Hawk and James A. Keyte


Barry E. Hawk and James A. Keyte 25.1 INTRODUCTION In once describing why he would not join his teammates for dinner at a popular restaurant, baseball legend Yogi Berra famously quipped, ‘Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded’.1 The same could be said about trying to comment on the revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines (RMGs), issued by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, Agencies) in August 2010.2 The RMGs explain enforcement policy for two of the most important antitrust and competition regulators in the world, which makes the RMGs one of the most potentially influential documents in today’s antitrust world. Recognizing this importance, in 2010 alone, commentators have put out (by our count) more than 120 articles or shorter analyses discussing the RMGs. In other words, seemingly anyone who considers themselves an expert on antitrust law and/or economics has felt compelled to weigh in on the RMGs. Recognizing this rising cacophony, we offer this chapter – particularly for readers who typically have a European focus – as a starting point for understanding the positions on the RMG taken by authors across disciplines, economic perspectives, and continents. Thus, our purpose is twofold. First, this chapter is descriptive, surveying the commentary to date on the RMGs. Second, although we acknowledge a number of widely accepted positives in the RMGs, the incredible variance in opinions demonstrates 1 Pepe, P., The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra, Chicago, Triumph Books, 2002, p. 186. 2 US Department...

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