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The Impact of Stricter Merger Control on Bank Mergers and Acquisitions. Too-Big-To-Fail and Competition


The effect of regulations on the banking sector is a key question for financial intermediation. This paper provides evidence that merger control regulation, although not directly targeted at the banking sector, has substantial economic effects on bank mergers. Based on an extensive sample of European countries, we show that target announcement premia increased by up to 16 percentage points for mergers involving control shifts after changes in merger legislation, consistent with a market expectation of increased profitability. These effects go hand-in-hand with a reduction in the propensity for mergers to create banks that are too-big-to-fail in their country.

JEL Classification: G21, G34, K21, L40.
Keywords: banks, regulation, mergers and acquisitions, merger control, antitrust.


Suggested citation: Carletti, Elena, Steven Ongena, Jan-Peter Siedlarek, and Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2019. “The Impact of Stricter Merger Control on Bank Mergers and Acquisitions. Too-Big-To-Fail and Competition.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Paper, no. 16-14R2.


Published in the Journal of Financial Intermediation and available here.

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