Marc Ivaldi, Jiekai Zhang, 10 August 2020

Television channels face a trade-off between the quality service (and number of viewers) and the revenue generated by advertisements. The market is said to be two-sided, with TV channels providing a platform through which advertisers and consumers are brought together during commercial breaks. This column examines the effects of the merge between two digital TV channels in France, and the regulatory intervention, on the quality of programming for viewers and the availability and cost of advertising space for commercial advertisers. 

Elena Argentesi, Paolo Buccirossi, Emilio Calvano, Tomaso Duso, Alessia Marrazzo, Salvatore Nava, 04 March 2020

Dominant companies in the digital market may use merger and acquisitions – especially ‘killer’ or ‘zombie’ acquisitions – and the (under)enforcement of merger control to stifle competition and cement their market dominance. This column analyses acquisition activity by Amazon, Facebook, and Google between 2008 and 2018, and finds that they often targeted very young firms. Because the evolution of young firms is still uncertain, it is difficult for competition authorities to assess the effects of these mergers, especially when the focus is on single acquisitions without considering the overall acquisition strategy.


The Barcelona Graduate School of Economics is holding an intensive course on the Competitive Effects of Mergers from November 7-9, 2018.
This three-day course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of the crucial role of competition enforcement in merger control by looking at established and new economic theories on mergers, the relevant empirical methods, as well as providing insightful discussions on recent high-profile merger cases in Europe and the US harm. The course will be taught by leading academic and professional economists:
Massimo Motta (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE; former Chief Competition Economist, European Commission), course director; Giulio Federico (European Commission); Natalia Fabra (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Aviv Nevo (University of Pennsylvania; former Chief Economist, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice); Elena Zoido (CompassLexecon).

Farid Toubal, Bruce Blonigen, Lionel Fontagné, Nicholas Sly, 15 August 2014

The concerns of economic nationalists about cross-border takeovers are rooted in the idea that foreign enterprises extract the most valuable assets from top performing domestic firms. Practical concerns about economic efficiency of cross-border M&A markets hinge on whether takeovers transfer underperforming domestic economic resources toward more productive uses at foreign enterprises. How then to reconcile these concerns when forming policies about cross-border activity? It’s all in the timing.

Tomaso Duso, Klaus Gugler, Florian Szücs, 26 January 2014

In 2004, European merger law was substantially revised, with the aim of achieving a ‘more economic approach’ to merger policy. This column discusses a recent empirical assessment of European merger cases before and after the reform. Post-reform, the outcomes of merger cases became more predictable, and the Commission prohibited fewer pro-competitive mergers. While there remains room for improvement in several aspects, the reform seems to have been successful in bringing European competition law closer to economic principles.

Harry Huizinga, Johannes Voget, Wolf Wagner, 31 October 2012

Capital gains taxation increases the cost of capital with potentially negative implications for growth. This column uses data from international mergers and acquisitions to show that a higher capital gains tax rate in the acquiring country reduces the international takeover price. It implies a discount of 3.4% in the acquisition prices paid by US acquiring firms, given the US capital gains tax rate of 15%.


CEPR Policy Research