The major problem associated with the regulation of transnational mergers, which affect several national markets, is the allocation of jurisdiction. Each country concerned may wish to exert jurisdiction and apply its national competition law to regulate the anti-competitive effects a merger may have in its territory. However, this approach may lead to risks of inconsistent decisions regarding the legality of mergers. Indeed, the national competition laws applied by the regulating authorities may diverge in several aspects, which raise the likelihood of inconsistency.
Therefore it is desirable to opt for regulatory approaches which are more sensitive to the transnational nature of mergers and which allow cooperation between competition authorities. A possible solution may be bilateral cooperation agreements through which two countries coordinate the enforcement activities of their national competition authorities. However, the benefits of these agreements are enjoyed only by the signatory parties. The sole reliance upon bilateral agreements does not appear to be the optimal regulatory approach towards transnational mergers.
Dimitris Liakopoulos, Attorney at Law and Professor of International and European law, University of Tuscia, Italy and Karol Wojtyla University, Italy
Armando Marsilia, Attorney at Law and Assistant Professor of Commercial International Law, University of Tuscia, Italy and Karol Wojtyla University, Italy