European guidelines on non-horizontal mergers
In February 2007, the European Commission added the last important piece to its redesign of merger control. The EC had amended the substance of its test for merger review, and published guidelines for the control of horizontal mergers, by the end of 2004. Now draft guidelines have been published for non-horizontal mergers – a welcome step into a difficult area, although the draft still leaves some issues to be addressed.
This bulletin discusses ways in which the guidelines could be enhanced, notably by the development of a more explicit framework for the weighing-up of foreclosure concerns against offsetting consumer benefits.