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Cargotec/Konecranes: Failed Shipping Equipment Merger Illustrates Aggressive UK/U.S. Enforcement and Increased Skepticism of Remedies

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On March 29, 2022, global container handling equipment providers [Cargotec and Konecranes] abandoned their proposed $5 billion merger after the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) rejected the parties’ proposed settlements, and the CMA concluded that the transaction should be prohibited. The same remedies had already been accepted by the European Commission, which cleared the merger to proceed in February. This is one of several recent examples of deals being abandoned due to antitrust challenges in the UK and United States. The deal illustrates (1) the extent to which decisions in different jurisdictions may diverge, with the most restrictive regimes determining outcomes; (2) a growing trend of increased skepticism toward merger remedies, particularly in the UK and United States; (3) heightened risk around transactions touching key elements of critical supply chains, with regulators on the lookout for areas vulnerable to concentration in light of global developments ranging from pandemic to war; and (4), more broadly, the increasingly difficult regulatory landscape that dealmakers must navigate in undertaking global mergers.