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Comparison of EU and US Antitrust Laws

1) Compare and Contrast the Antitrust Law and Economic Policies of Europe and the Common Market with that of the United States. Include a brief discussion of the history and the development of these policies including the relevant laws that were enacted to achieve economic objectives.

Explain the difference between structure and conduct and compare these concepts under the two legal systems.

How are mergers and acquisition guidelines presented under both systems?

Explain the economic rationale for law and policy that focuses on per se market power vs. a "rule of reason" analysis.

Solution Preview

United States antitrust law is largely a result of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which declared illegal "every contract, combination . . . or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce." EU antitrust law is similar, and both address two main topics?competition in general and mergers. Antitrust law in the EU involves the control of collusion and other anti-competitive practices (or, since 1994, the European Economic Area). This is covered under Articles 81 and 82 EC. Mergers are defined as involving companies which have a certain, defined amount of turnover in the EU or European Economic Area. This is governed by the Council Regulation 139/2004 EC (the Merger Regulation). Under the original Merger Regulation which came into force in 1990, the European Commission has exclusive jurisdiction for mergers between firms with a combined worldwide turnover of at least ?5 billion and a turnover within the European Economic Area of more than ?250 million for each of them. The new EU laws are an effort to ...

Solution Summary

Simliarities and differences between the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and Articles 81 and 82 of the EU competition law exist both in statute and application.