Rev Ind Organ (2013) 43:265–290
Economic Analysis at the European Commission
Thomas Buettner · Giulio Federico ·
Kai-Uwe Kühn · Dimitrios Magos
Published online: 30 November 2013
© European Union 2013
Abstract In 2012–2013 the European Commission has had particularly prominent
merger cases, with two prohibitions of transactions and several clearances with far-
reaching remedies. In these cases economic analysis has been tightly integrated into the
general argument of the Commission and became central to the outcome of the cases.
Based on economic theory and supporting data, the Commission has pursued novel
economic theories of harm and challenged some economically dubious “common
wisdom” in merger assessment. The second area in which economic analysis has had
a major impact is in state aid modernization. The new regional aid guidelines of 2013
have moved the rules much closer to economic thinking about effective regional aid
and introduced requirements for economic ex-post analysis. Finally, the decisions on
the e-books case reﬂect close cross-Atlantic cooperation with respect to the economic
analysis and the design of appropriate remedies. This article reports on a number of
examples for the most important cases.
Keywords Antitrust · Bargaining · Excess capacity · Mergers · Merger efﬁciencies ·
Most favored nation clauses · State aid
We are grateful to several members of the Chief Economist Team of the Directorate General for
Competition of the European Commission for many useful discussions on the issues covered in this paper.
The views expressed in this paper are the authors’ own, and do not necessarily reﬂect those of the
Directorate General for Competition or of the European Commission.
T. Buettner · G. Federico · D. Magos
Directorate General for Competition, European Commission,
K.-U. Kühn (
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor , MI, USA