Monti feels heat on mergers

The Government is putting pressure on Mario Monti, the European Competition Commissioner, whose rulings have recently suffered three defeats in the European courts, to adopt a radical new approach to assessing company merger proposals.

Britain's own competition minister, Melanie Johnson, has made the case in meetings with the Italian politician. Ms Johnson wants the EU to judge future mergers on whether they substantially lessen competition (SLC). At present, Mr Monti judges mergers on their potential dominance. Ms Johnson said: "We would rather they move to an SLC test, and we have been discussing the case with [the European Commission]."

Ms Johnson is supported by the Office of Fair Trading director-general, John Vickers.On Thursday, Mr Monti announced a review of competition policy, but said that a wide departure from the dominance test was unlikely

Britain's own competition minister, Melanie Johnson, has made the case in meetings with the Italian politician. Ms Johnson wants the EU to judge future mergers on whether they substantially lessen competition (SLC). At present, Mr Monti judges mergers on their potential dominance.

Ms Johnson said: "We would rather they move to an SLC test, and we have been discussing the case with [the European Commission]."

Ms Johnson is supported by the Office of Fair Trading director-general, John Vickers.On Thursday, Mr Monti announced a review of competition policy, but said that a wide departure from the dominance test was unlikely.

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