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Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement

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  • Russ Pittman

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that such transfers are likely overall to be quite regressive, and thus that a consumer surplus standard rather than a total welfare standard may be appropriate for antitrust. Two common arguments against this standardâ€â€that most mergers are in markets for intermediate goods, and that a consumer welfare standard implies a tolerance for monopsonyâ€â€are examined and found wanting. I argue in addition that, even if a total welfare standard is used, both the finance literature on merger outcomes and the structure of the U.S. enforcement agencies suggest that the use of a consumer surplus standard by the agencies is more likely to achieve that goal.

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Article provided by Competition Policy International in its journal CPI Journal CPI 3(2).

Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:cpi:cpijrn:3.2.2007:i=4927

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  1. Baker, Jonathan & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Reinvigorating Horizontal Merger Enforcement," Working paper 546, Regulation2point0.
  2. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Johan Stennek & Frank Verboven, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  3. F. Scherer, 2006. "A New Retrospective on Mergers," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 327-341, June.
  4. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof, 2007. "A Consumer Surplus Defense in Merger Control," Working Paper Series 686, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Damien J. NEVEN & Lars-Hendrik RÖLLER, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.24, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
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  7. Bargeron, Leonce L. & Schlingemann, Frederik P. & Stulz, René M. & Zutter, Chad J., 2008. "Why do private acquirers pay so little compared to public acquirers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 375-390, September.
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  14. Pittman, Russell W, 1990. "Railroads and Competition: The Santa Fe/Southern Pacific Merger Proposal," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 25-46, September.
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  17. Amihud, Yakov & Lev, Baruch & Travlos, Nickolaos G, 1990. " Corporate Control and the Choice of Investment Financing: The Case of Corporate Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 603-16, June.
  18. Dennis W. Carlton, 2007. "Does Antitrust Need to be Modernized?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 155-176, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Jeitschko & Nanyun Zhang, 2011. "Patent Pools and Product Development," Working Papers 2011-02, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2011.
  2. Rosa Branca Esteves & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2009. "Price Discrimination under Customer Recognition and Mergers," NIPE Working Papers 23/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Emilie Dargaud & Andrea Mantovani & Carlo Reggiani, 2013. "The fight against cartels: a transatlantic perspective," Working Papers 2013/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  4. Pingping Shan & Guofu Tan & Simon Wilkie & Michael Williams, 2012. "China’s Anti-Monopoly Law: What is the Welfare Standard?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 31-52, August.
  5. Dennis W. Carlton & Ken Heyer, 2008. "Appropriate Antitrust Policy Towards Single-Firm Conduct," EAG Discussions Papers 200802, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  6. Timothy J. Brennan, 2009. "Energy Efficiency: Efficiency or Monopsony?," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-110, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 01 May 2009.
  7. Marc Fusaro & Richard Ericson, 2010. "The Welfare Economics of “Bounce Protection” Programs," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 55-73, March.
  8. Brennan, Timothy J., 2011. "Energy efficiency and renewables policies: Promoting efficiency or facilitating monopsony?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 3954-3965, July.
  9. Brennan, Timothy J., 2009. "Energy Efficiency: Efficiency or Monopsony?," Discussion Papers dp-09-20, Resources For the Future.
  10. Jarig Sinderen & Ron Kemp, 2008. "The Economic Effect Of Competition Law Enforcement: The Case Of The Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 365-385, December.

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