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Are merger remedies effective in the EU?

February 2007

CERNA Working Paper

The European Commission released in 2005 an in-depth study of merger remedies. The study is an ex post evaluation of the design and implementation of 96 remedies accepted in merger cases notified between 1996 and 2000. At first glance, remedies seem highly effective, since 94% of divested businesses were still on the market three to five years after divestiture, and 81% of the total analyzed remedies are considered partially or fully effective. In fact, these initial figures are misleading.

The study highlights numerous obstacles to the success of remedies, especially the strategic behavior of merging firms and the failure of trustees to perform their mandate properly.

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