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In current horizontal merger policy in the US and the EU an explicit efficiency defense is allowed. On both sides of the Atlantic mergers are unconditionally approved if internal efficiencies are sufficient to reverse the mergers' potential to harm consumers in the relevant market. Current merger policy is implicitly based on the assumption that rational managers will only propose privately profitable mergers. In this thesis I will show that the empirical evidence on merger performance suggestsdoi:10.2139/ssrn.1475533 fatcat:tqqxq27u2zeg3fltdixamvlrne