This blog is part of a series following the 2019 Bruegel annual meetings, which brought together nearly 1,000 participants for two days of policy debate and discussion.
This blog post investigates the debate on whether European competition rules should foster European industrial champions, or allow national champions to grow to a European scale. It explores the criteria that one would intuitively ascribe to industrial champions, illustrating the difficulties in defining either ‘European’ or ‘Champion’. It then conducts a brief look into whether EU Merger decisions have impeded the formation of ‘European Champions’.
Foreign takeovers are often a source of concern for national governments. Concerns might be of a strategic nature (for example over deals in the defence sector) or of a more economic nature. In the latter cases, the public perception is often that, because they are less physically or psychologically attached to the host country, foreign investors could more easily take decisions that harm the host economy, such as downgrading the acquired company’s brand or cutting jobs or research expenditure.
This video was made following Bruegel Fellow Mario Mariniello‘s Competition Policy Lab ‘Minority shareholding in merger control‘ on 18 July 2013. Tel Aviv University’s Yossi Spiegel discusses the competitive harm of minority shareholding and the European Commission’s ‘call for input’ on minority shareholdings and merger control.