Following the European Commission’s prohibition of the Alstom-Siemens merger, many voices pretended to have found the cause of Europe’s industrial decline: an overzealous European competition policy hindering the emergence of “European champions”. Without denying the existence of prospects for improving merger control policy, it would be counterproductive to blame Brussels for the application of rules whose economic virtues in terms of defending purchasing power and incentives to innovate are clearly demonstrated. A comparison with the United States invites us to beware of theories that view competition rules as obstacle to economic development.

This study was written by Emmanuel Combe, Professor at the University of Paris-1 and Professor at Skema Business School and Vice-President of the Competition Authority*, Paul-Adrien Hyppolite, Corps des Mines engineer and graduate of the École normale supérieure*, and Antoine Michon, Corps des Mines engineer and graduate of the École Polytechnique*.

* The authors of this study are responsible for its content, which does not hold responsible the institutions for which they work. This document is a translation of the French version published in November 2019.