The International Handbook of Competition
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The International Handbook of Competition

Edited by Manfred Neumann and Jürgen Weigand

This indispensable Handbook examines both economic and legal aspects of competition policy and industrial organization. It provides a scholarly review of the state of the art regarding economic theory, empirical evidence and standards of legal evaluation. The book aims primarily at furthering our understanding of the interplay between economic reasoning and legal expertise by concentrating on the fundamental issues and principles underlying competition policy.
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Chapter 5: Financial Services: Consolidation and Strategic Positioning

Arnoud Boot


Arnoud Boot 1 Introduction1 Liberalization and deregulation of financial markets have had a tremendous effect on the financial services sector worldwide. An unprecedented wave of restructuring and consolidation has swept through the United States and Europe as well as Asia. Prominently figures the breath-taking scale of consolidation in banking through mergers and acquisitions. For the USA the consolidation of money center banks (for example the Chase Manhattan and Chemical Bank merger, and the subsequent merger with J.P. Morgan), the creation of regional megabanks (for example the expansion strategies of BankOne and Nationsbank and their mergers with, respectively, First Chicago/NBD and BankAmerica) may serve as examples in kind. And this is not the end. The most recently announced mergers bring together the merged banks that now operate under the name J.P. Morgan and BankOne, and also involve a merger between BankAmerika (the entity that includes Nationsbank and FleetBoston). On a domestic scale, Europe has seen some spectacular mergers between large universal banks. Take, for example, the acquisition of Paribas by Banque National de Paris (BNP) or the marriage of the Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation. Also a few cross-border mergers, such as the acquisitions across the Dutch–Belgian border,2 or HSBC’s acquisition of Crédit Commercial de France caught public attention. Merger mania in Japan has created some of the world’s largest banks as ranked by book value of assets (for example, Mizuho, created through the merger of Fuji, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan)...

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