Merger control refers to the procedure of reviewing mergers and acquisitions under antitrust / competition law. Today, more than 130 countries globally have a merger control system. In most of them, merger control is a way to prevent merging undertakings from reinforcing or establishing a dominant position and being able to exercise market power that could be harmful for the process of undisturbed competition.
Merger control in the EU system is the third pillar of EU competition law. Central role is that of the European Commission’s that controls such concentrations. The interested parties notify about a merger and the European Commission decides whether it can be implemented. The Commission’s decision is subject to judicial review by the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The main purpose of merger control is to prevent mergers that will lead to the creation of a dominant position and thus consumers will be deprived of benefits arising from effective competition such as low prices, products of high-quality, wide range of offered goods and services, and innovation.
For example, a merger could impede effective competition if companies decide to coordinate and raise their prices. Merger control is detrimental for avoiding the creation of a market structure, like the above, that would create a dominant position for market players which would enable them to abuse their market power to the expense of consumers.
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