Empirical and theoretical analyses are now central to merger investigations. Theories of harm are based on economic models of competition and need to be carefully tested against alternative models of economic theory and market data, often including detailed transaction-level data, as well as against internal documents.
We have been involved in many of the landmark cases that set the course of current merger control in Europe, as well as some of the most controversial European Commission and court cases of recent years. We have helped many clients gain approval in the first phase of an inquiry, thereby avoiding a full-scale investigation.
Our advice is often sought at the planning stage of a transaction: to identify competition problems as early as possible and undertake pre-emptive work that can smooth and speed up the progress of the notification process. We help by anticipating the theories of harm that will be raised by the competition authorities, identifying the most appropriate model of competition and the relevant markets for assessing the effects of the merger, undertaking the most appropriate empirical analyses to test the impact of the merger and considering the potential implications of the different remedies packages.