1. What are the important philosophical differences between U.S.

1. What are the important philosophical differences between U.S. and EU antitrust regulators? Explain the logic underlying these differences. To what extent are these differences influenced by political rather than economic considerations? Explain your answer.
2. This is the first time that a foreign regulatory body prevented a deal involving only U.S. firms from going through. What are the long-term implications, if any, of this precedent?
3. What were the major stumbling blocks between GE and the EU regulators? Why do you think these were stumbling blocks? Do you think the EU regulators were justified in their position?
4. Do you think that competitors are using antitrust to their advantage? Explain your answer.
5. Do you think the EU regulators would have taken a different position if the deal had involved a less visible firm than General Electric? Explain your answer.

Many observers anticipated significant regulatory review because of the size of the transaction and the increase in concentration it would create in the markets served by the two firms. Most believed, however, that, after making some concessions to regulatory authorities, the transaction would be approved due to its perceived benefits. Although the pundits were indeed correct in noting that it would receive close scrutiny, they were completely caught off guard by divergent approaches taken by the U.S. and EU antitrust authorities. U.S regulators ruled that the merger should be approved because of its potential benefits to customers. In marked contrast, EU regulators ruled against the transaction based on its perceived negative impact on competitors.

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