Rev Ind Organ (2010) 37:83–99
Assessing the Efﬁcacy of Structural Merger Remedies:
Choosing Between Theories of Harm?
Stephen Davies · Matthew Olczak
Published online: 24 July 2010
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010
Abstract This paper shows that many structural remedies in a sample of European
merger cases result in market structures which would probably not be cleared by the
Competition Authority (CA) if they were the result of merger (rather than remedy).
This is explained by the fact that the CA’s objective through remedy is to restore pre-
merger competition, but markets are often highly concentrated even before merger. If
so, the CA must often choose between clearing an ‘uncompetitive’ merger, or applying
an unsatisfactory remedy. Here, the CA appears reluctant to intervene against coordi-
nated effects, if doing so enhances a leader’s dominance.
Keywords Collective dominance · Coordinated effects · Merger remedies ·
Single dominance · Tacit collusion
JEL Classiﬁcation L13 · L41
When a competition authority (CA) anticipates that a proposed merger will lead to
competitive harm, it is required to intervene, either by prohibiting the merger outright
or, more commonly, requiring a merger remedy. Typically remedies are structural,
S. Davies (
Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Economics and Strategy Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK