European Union merger control: shipping, ports and shipbuilding
The European Union (“EU”) needs to be able to control, on competition grounds, the merger or acquisition 1 of businesses 2 in all sectors of the economy including the shipping, port and shipbuilding sectors. The EU has therefore adopted the Merger Control Regulation (often abbreviated as “MCR”, “EUMR” or “ECMR”), which is Council Regulation 139/2004 of 20 January 2004, 3 so as to enable the European Commission 4 to adjudicate on whether or not such transactions (i.e. “concentrations”) should be: (a) prohibited (i.e. not permitted to proceed at all); 5 (b) allowed to proceed conditionally; 6 or (c) permitted unconditionally. 7 Of the three options, the unconditional approval is the
most common outcome. This chapter considers the MCR as it relates to shipping, ports and shipbuilding. 8 The chapter begins with an overview of the MCR and then analyses its application to the three sectors. 9
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