The Competitiveness Council adopted on 27 November new rules giving the Commission more power to investigate merger deals.
On 27 November 2003, the Council of ministers gave its unanimous political agreement to the proposed review of the Merger Regulation. Competition Commissioner Mario Monti had introduced reform proposals as a result of the Green Paper consultation in December 2001. The main objectives of the reform are: greater flexibility over the length and timing of merger investigations, strengthening of the economic analysis of merger decisions, clearer guidelines on how to apply the most important principles of competition policy such as the definition of market dominance. The new merger regulation will enter into force on 1 May 2004.