European Mergers and Merger Policy

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Europe stands at the start of its first great merger wave. Growing international trade, accelerated by the `Single Market' programme, has seen a sharp increase in mergers across national borders between European-based firms. During the 1990s, this increase in European mergers will almost certainly continue. As it does, it is sure to raise important questions for industrial policy-makers and business strategies. Should, for instance, leading national firms merge to form `European champions'? When does merger make good business sense, and with which firms? Are hostile takeovers a sound method for ensuring top management accountability; or are alternative ownership controls preferable? What are the proper grounds for politicians to prevent a merger, and which politicians?

This book addresses these questions, bringing together a number of leading economists and authoritative commentators on mergers and merger policy. The book itself is a `European' edition of Mergers and Merger Policy edited by James A. Fairburn and John Kay (OUP, 1989). Two chapters (on market structure and performance; and on the evolution of merger policy in Britain) from that book are included here without alteration. Other chapters have been updated and to these have been added entirely new chapters on the European dimension of merger activity, regulation and the European community, and on the options open to European companies.

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Oxford University Press
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