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Veering off the well-trodden path? European Merger Control and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Gavin Bushell, Kluwer Competition Law Blog, October 29, 2015

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We have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation, which came into force on 21 September 1990.

Since that date, we have seen an exponential growth in merger control notifications at the European level – at least up until the financial crisis that began in 2008.

The good news is that, to the end of September 2015, there have been 247 notifications this year. We appear to be on track for approximately 330 notification in total for 2015. This almost reaches the level of notifications in 2008 (348) – albeit somewhat off the all time high of 2007 (402).

But what does this mean to the pharmaceutical industry? It has been at the vanguard of the resurgence in M&A since the financial crisis – alongside telecoms. I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the state of merger control enforcement in this sector at the European level.

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