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8 Merger Control as Industrial Policy: National Security and Public Interest Considerations

From: Merger Control, National Security, and Foreign Direct Investment Screening: A Comparative Perspective (1st Edition)

Ioannis Kokkoris

From: Oxford Competition Law (http://oxcat.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 July 2024

Merger control

The international business landscape is changing, while governments grapple with global economic forces and local societal aspirations. This chapter presents the resurgence of protectionism, and how merger control measures align business interests with national strategic goals. The chapter examines the influence of geopolitical tensions on the merger control landscape. It then explores the expanding scope of sectors susceptible to national security concerns and the strengthening of assessment regimes in the EU, the US, China, and Japan. The chapter examines the justification for government intervention and investigates whether and under what conditions competition policy might be the proper tool for the job. Further, it looks at the role that public interest considerations play in different merger control regimes, focusing on the increasing relevance of national security. Finally, the chapter underscores the challenges of balancing broader goals within the framework of competition law, including the risk of discretionary decision-making and cross-border disparities.

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