The proposed merger of General Electric and Honeywell International, two U.S. owned and operated companies, was blocked on an international level by the European Commission even after its domestic approval. Despite the closeness of U.S. and EU antitrust laws, regulators in both countries reached opposite conclusions regarding the effects of the merger. This case highlights the complexities of international merger analysis in the absence of a global competition policy and the dangers that inherently exist in the current regulatory landscape. This has made it clear that countries with restrictive merger guidelines can become the gatekeepers for large scale international mergers. Specifically, China has recently enacted antitrust legislation that may grant them the power of ultimate decision in mergers that cross their boundaries, even if Chinese involvement is only a small component of the overall merger.
One Law to Control Them All: International Merger Analysis in the Wake of GE/Honeywell,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.