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THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC EVIDENCE IN MERGER CONTROL IN IRELAND: CURRENT AND FUTURE PRACTICE

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Abstract:

Having reviewed some 311 cases notified to the Irish Competition Authority during 2003-2006 this paper examines economic evidence and how it relates to factual and opinion evidence in testing for SLC. The analysis focuses on the use of economic evidence in the assessment of horizontal mergers with unilateral effects and sets out a framework for the application of economic evidence. The authors note that economic evidence was only relied on in a minority of cases, and never in isolation from factual and/or opinion evidence. Having reflected on some of the economic techniques used in Irish merger cases the authors conclude that there may be no more than a limited role for merger simulation models and analysed why, despite an extensive literature on their relevance to merger review, efficiencies have played only a minor role in merger notifications and have not been supported by quantitative evidence. Finally the authors discuss the incentives the underlie competitor and customer opinion evidence and how biases in opinion evidence can be controlled for.

Keywords: Econometrics; Economic Evidence; Efficiencies; Factual Evidence; HHI; Irish Competition Authority; Mergers; Opinion Evidence; Simulation Models; Unilateral effects

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • This scholarly, peer-reviewed publication of original articles and analysis of current developments in competition law is designed to complement and augment the existing literature with a special focus on European developments. Topics include:
    • Vertical and Conglomerate Mergers
    • Enlargement of the Union - the ramifications for Competition Policy
    • Unilateral and Coordinated Effects in Merger Control
    • Modernisation of European Competition law
    • Cartels and Leniency
    • Article 82- restatement or evolution?
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