Authorities are hamstrung by having to prove that mergers are harmful: a tricky business at the best of times. It is time to reverse the burden of proof so that instead it is the firms that must prove that the deal serves the public good.
Nobody knows. Sure, a few people have some convictions about stuff but no one actually knows. It’s also not possible to know – Hayek and all that.
Experience – the past couple of centuries of this markets and capitalism mixture – tells us that the best method we know of, the best method we’ve ever tried, is to allow people free rein with those convictions and ideas and see what turns up.
What you’re suggesting is that we all have to gain permission from the bureaucracy to do anything. Something that East German and all points poorer tells us doesn’t work.
So, my lovely, do bugger off would you? There’s a good little lawyer…….
Michelle Meagher is a competition lawyer and author of Competition is Killing Us: How Big Business is Harming Our Society and Planet – and What to do About it