The Bigness Mystique and the Merger Policy Debate: A Comment from West Germany

Schmidt, Ingo L.O. | January 1, 1989

After eight years of an antitrust policy dominated by the principles of the Chicago School, which is better characterized as a protrust merger policy, the United States and the European Community are confronted with a new wave of mergers. The arguments for mergers are the same as in the 1960s: merger-induced bigness promotes international competition, efficiency, and technological progress. In this context, Adams and Brock in their excellent analysis ask the right questions. But did merger-induced corporate giantism provide salvation for European industry? Did it provide world-class competitiveness? Was it a success and a model of industrial policy worthy of emulation? Adams and Brock provide answers by analyzing post-merger performance in the United Kingdom, Franc, West Germany, Italy, and Japan. Their country analyses leave space for further work. Therefore, this Article provides deeper insight into West Germany’s merger activity and its merger results.