Regulators in Brazil heed the call for restraint on the Ball-Rexam Merger; Will the European Commission and the FTC follow suit?

Today, the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) released a research paper entitled, The Ball-Rexam Merger: The Case for a Competitive Can Market, co-authored by ICLE Executive Director Geoffrey A. Manne and Associate Director R. Ben Sperry.

Media sources this morning predicted that the EU would approve the deal subject to fine-tuning of the offered concessions. And yesterday the Brazilian competition commission, CADE, unanimously approved the merger, subject to very limited divestiture and contractual conditions, according to regulatory newswire MLex.

Last week, ICLE scholars Geoffrey Manne, Donald J. Boudreaux, and Paul H. Rubin sent a letter to the FTC urging the Commission to consider the dynamics of the marketplace in its review, and summarizing why the proposed merger was unlikely to raise anticompetitive concerns. This recommendation was based on an extensive, in-depth research project undertaken by ICLE to explore the beverage packaging industry in detail, applying law and economics methodologies to assess the competitive effects of the proposed merger.

The resulting paper highlights the seven specific market dynamics that lead us to the conclusion that the proposed merger is unlikely to have anticompetitive effects, and that any competitive concerns that do arise can be readily addressed by a few targeted divestitures.

Read our complete assessment of the merger’s effect here.

Selected merger analysis by ICLE scholars: