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This article asks whether the merger of Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) in 2008, on public interest grounds, marked the failure of an enduring economics-based system of merger regulation. It argues that, far from marking a failure, the Lloyds/HBOS merger highlights the importance of only allowing public interest interventions on exceptional grounds in specific industries. Economics-based merger control is transparent and preferable to general public interest assessments, whichdoi:10.2139/ssrn.1931007 fatcat:crtw54epdbfnnpi746x5e6llgm