A dive into 'unknown' waters : a critical analysis of the EC merger control mechanism and policy and its application in the Baltic Countries
This study undertakes a comparative analysis of the approaches towards merger control regime taken at the EC and the national levels, namely the Baltic countries. The emergence and further development of competition law and policy (particularly merger control rules) in the unexplored Baltic countries represent a novelty of the work, as there are no comprehensive legal writings in this area. The comparative research revealed that the EC incorporates both a negative and a positive approach vis-a-vis merger control rules; after shifting towards a more economic based approach, the EC regulatory authorities have explicitly recognised possible pro-competitive effects of mergers on competition. Whereas, the situation differs in the Baltic countries: despite committing themselves to applying the EC competition policy, these countries employ a negative approach towards merger transactions by placing focus on finding `dominance' rather than stressing emphasis on a merger's effects on competition. This negative approach may mean that the Baltic countries are reluctant to admit pro-competitive effects of merger transactions on competition, which can be seen as a sign that the merger control regimes in the Baltic countries are orientated towards dominance or market power rather than efficiency enhancing. The law used in the research is stated on the basis of materials available to the researcher on 31 May 2006.