Prior Restraint

The EU has it.  And it doesn’t hesitate to reach overseas to try to inflict it outside EU jurisdiction.

The European Union’s antitrust authority on Thursday opened a full-blown investigation into plans by Dow Chemical Co and DuPont Co to merge, on concerns the deal would reduce competition [in] the global agricultural sector.

The European Commission said it would investigate whether the deal may reduce competition in areas such as crop protection, seeds, and certain petrochemicals. Announced in December, the proposed merger aims to create an American industry giant with a combined market cap of about $122 billion.

Never mind that the EU, like the US, has plenty of laws with which to deal with actual anti-competitive or monopoly abuse behaviors.  Never mind that prior restraint is destructive of innovation and of competition.

Never mind that this is an American merger between American companies, or that global markets reach far beyond the EU while the EU’s legal reach is limited to the EU.

Here’s a thought, one that takes advantage of the wide world beyond parochial Europe.  Dow and DuPont should simply ignore the EU and merge if they think that makes sense.  And then contribute to that global competition reduction by walking away from Europe (save post-leave Great Britain) and focus their competitive and innovative efforts on that wide world.

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