Merger control in the European Union is shaped by an architecture of separate jurisdictional zones: the European Commission vets all mergers where the competition concern is of Community interest whereas mergers lacking a Community interest come under the jurisdiction of the relevant member state. For this architecture to be successful an effective case allocating test is essential. Since the original 1989 Merger Control Regulation (MCR) the allocating test – the Community Dimension test(s) – and the corrective structures supporting it have not fully conformed to the architecture of jurisdictional zones in practice. Why has this been the case? Does the new 2004 MCR solve the underlying problems?
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