Chapter 7: Merger control
In the field of merger control, the Antimonopoly Act in Japan was in some ways the forerunner of the approach that is now typical in competition regimes around the world. The original AMA already provided for merger control in its Chapter 4, under which the JFTC approved a merger only under strict conditions, although in most other jurisdictions, provisions concerning mergers had not yet been adopted. In 1949, Japan introduced a prior notification system of merger clearance,many years ahead of Germany (1973), the US (1976) and the European Community (1989). When the Japanese Antimonopoly Act was reformed in 1953, it was clarified that the substantive criterion was a ësubstantial restraint of competitioní test, which has become a worldwide standard. One of the particularities of the history of Japanese merger control is that, although the framework was established at an early stage, its enforcement was sometimes criticised for being heavily affected by the Japanese industrial policy. The balance between competition policy and industrial policy, in particular during the period of rapid economic growth, was a serious issue, although some argue that industrial policy made only a minor contribution to growth in Japan. In the EU, after much discussion in the 1970s and 1980s, the Merger Regulation was finally adopted in 1989 and all kinds of concentrations including full mergers, acquisitions and certain types of joint ventures fell under the Commissionís control, provided that they had a ëCommunity dimensioní.
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