Scandinavian companies have traditionally dominated the European paper and pulp industry. Major transformations in the industry currently undermine the position of Scandinavian companies. These transformations are triggered by the increasing use of waste paper instead of pulp as raw material, the integration of European markets, the increasing demand for more sophisticated paper grades, and environmental regulations imposed on the industry. On top of these structural changes the industry is currently involved in a severe recession. In view of these developments, the biggest Scandinavian paper and pulp producers recently initiated a wave of takeovers and mergers, to which Western European companies responded with similar moves. This paper explores these changes in the European paper industry in terms of the so-called business system framework. The concept of business systems was recently introduced by Whitley (1992) in order to assess how institutional conditions affect organizations. Conventional industry analysis may benefit from the business system framework by tracking institutional sources of competitive advantage. Using the business system framework, this paper discusses several developments in the European paper and pulp industry.