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Global trends in merger control enforcement

As M&A volumes reached record highs in 2021, antitrust authorities continued to take a tough approach to merger control.

We analyse the key trends and developments in global merger control activity, focussing on the EU, UK, U.S. and China. We examine when and how antitrust authorities have intervened in deal making and look ahead at what to expect as new rules and policies, many targeted at digital acquisitions, start to take shape. 

Report highlights:

  • Antitrust authorities continued to frustrate M&A, including vertical deals
  • Bolstered rules, new policies and greater international coordination signal tougher enforcement
  • Antitrust intervention targeted life sciences, energy and transport sectors but not (yet) tech
  • Procedural enforcement surged, with China leading the charge
  • Authorities coordinated on remedies as use of behavioural conditions declined
  • Green deals and merger control: sustainability considerations may have a role
  • Tougher foreign direct investment regimes complicated deal making

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