25 August 2021
Fuel for thought? Developments in CMA local merger assessment
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The CMA recently cleared the acquisition of UK grocery chain Asda by fuel retailer Euro Garages. In its assessment of local overlaps between the parties the CMA adopted a mechanical decision rule methodology, suggesting a shift away from the traditional two stage filtering approach.
In this Brief we consider the CMA’s evolving approach to local market assessment in phase I merger review, and argue that the emerging preference for mechanical decision rules unnecessarily reduces the quality of merger review by disregarding relevant and available information.
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