Transatlantic divergence: GE-Honeywell and the EU's merger policy

Eleanor Morgan, Steven McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)


This paper analyses the reasons for the severe EU–US disagreement over the proposed merger of two US firms, General Electric and Honeywell, which would have been the largest industrial merger in history. The case, one of the relatively rare instances where the European Commission prohibited a merger, is interesting because the EU and US authorities took opposing decisions even though the merger affected world markets. The paper argues that the Commission's investigation of this complex case was undermined by its relative autonomy, combined with procedures, processes and a lack of resources that left it vulnerable to inadequate analysis. The deal broke down not because of failures in communication between US and EU officials, but rather because of the limited and flawed assessment by Brussels which the EU system allowed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • competition policy
  • EU-US relations
  • General Electric
  • Honeywell
  • Merger Control Regulation
  • mergers


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