Reforming Antitrust Policy for an Era of Global Competitiveness
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There has been increasing pressure in both the United States and the EU for competition authorities to look more askance at big firms, because bigness too often is viewed as inherently anticompetitive. As trust in big firms has soured, some policymakers have become less willing to consider how antitrust policy, especially as applied in merger reviews, can affect firms’ productivity and competitiveness. In Europe, this was borne out in the recent rejection of a proposed merger between Alstom and Siemens, a marriage that was planned in large part to make the European companies more competitive versus China’s state-owned high-speed rail behemoth CRCC. And in the United States, it was reflected in the Federal Trade Commission’s requirement that semiconductor maker NXP to divest itself of its RF power business as a precondition for its $11.8 billion acquisition of U.S.-based Freescale Semiconductor Ltd.—a ruling that allowed China to acquire the business and gain key technological advantage.
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Senior Lecturer in Law
Leicester De Montfort Law School
Chairman and Principal Executive Officer
Berkeley Research Group