Book Review: Martin Broberg, the European Commission’s Jurisdiction to Scrutinise Mergers

7 Colum. J. Eur. L. 297 (2001)

reviewed by Lawrence B. Landman. Dr. Landman earned his B.A. from SUNY, Stony Brook; his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; his M.B.A. from Columbia University; and his Ph.D. from Roskilde University in Denmark. He works with Oxford Research in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Magle International Business Law in Lund, Sweden, helping high-technology firms develop, market, and license their technology.

Morten Broberg’s The European Commission’s Jurisdiction to Scrutinise Mergers offers a thorough, comprehensive analysis of the jurisdictional aspects of the European Community’s Merger Control Regulation (the Regulation). This well- researched volume, part of Kluwer’s prestigious European Monograph series, providers readers with a thorough overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of the Regulation’s jurisdictional provisions. All researchers and practitioners – accountants as well as lawyers – working in the field should, at a minimum, have this book available for quick reference. The book will assist the reader in navigating many of the jurisdictional minefields which surround the Regulation. And it will help them in a way no other book can – it is the only book ever written exclusively on the jurisdictional aspects of the Regulation.

This review offers a quick guide to Broberg’s deep and comprehensive book. The review will summarize each of the chapters and will, hopefully, show researchers and practitioners how the book will help them do their work. The review will also highlight the most important analytical conclusion which the book offers.\ The book shows that the Commission has interpreted the jurisdictional provisions of the Regulation to increase its power and authority. Broberg’s book contends that the Commission uses the Regulation to review more transactions than it actually should.

The Commission’s jurisdiction is the essence of its power. The Commission can only effect those transactions which it reviews. The extent to which the Commission has the authority to review transactions, including mergers, is therefore not merely of technical interest. The subject raises fundamental questions regarding the Commission’s authority to manage the European economy. To analyze the jurisdictional reach of the Regulation is to analyze the economic role of EU competition law, and of the Commission itself. This subject is therefore vitally important to both those who work with the Regulation and those who study the] Commission’s power generally. Broberg has based this book on his Ph.D. dissertation, and it is easy to understand why he chose this significant subject to analyze in such depth.