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Reference to the territory and total disregard for the nationality of the companies is of course the best guarantee that competition assessment remain just that and doesn't get affected by trade or other considerations.
Like other antitrust agencies we make our assessment of a merger or antitrust case based on its impact on our jurisdiction, and not on the nationality of the companies. This is exactly what the U.S. antitrust agencies, the Justice Department and the FTC, do.
I have the most profound respect for the Department of Justice and the FTC. We in Europe are a younger and I would say junior institution to the historical antitrust experience of the US.
I don't believe we're seeing the beginning of a divergence. We have seen a partial divergence on this case.
As to the question of elected or not elected, each member of the European Commission has been appointed jointly by the governments of the 15 member states, and undergone individual scrutiny and a vote of confidence from the European Parliament.
A lot of the American press at the time was saying 'just watch what happens when Bertelsmann tries to buy EMI, that will be a moment of truth that will show the Commission's true colors.' Well, that deal never happened either.
It Is What It Is
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