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The Deterrence Effects of US Merger Policy Instruments

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  • Joseph A. Clougherty
  • Jo Seldeslachts

Abstract

We estimate the deterrence effects of US merger policy instruments with respect to the composition and frequency of future merger notifications. Data from the Annual Reports by the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission allow industry-based measures over the 1986--99 period of the conditional probabilities for eliciting investigations, challenges, prohibitions, court wins, and court losses: Deterrence variables akin to the traditional conditional probabilities from the economics of crime literature. We find the challenge rate to robustly deter future horizontal (both relative and absolute) merger activity, and the court-loss rate to moderately affect absolute levels of horizontal-merger activity; however, the investigation rate, prohibition rate, and court-win rate do not significantly deter future horizontal mergers. Accordingly, the conditional probability of eliciting an antitrust challenge (i.e. remedies and prohibitions) is unique among the different merger policy instruments as it yields a robust deterrence effect. (JEL L40, L49, K21) The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 29 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1114-1144

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:29:y:2013:i:5:p:1114-1144

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  1. Dale Cloninger & Roberto Marchesini, 2006. "Execution moratoriums, commutations and deterrence: the case of Illinois," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 967-973.
  2. Eckbo, B Espen & Wier, Peggy, 1985. "Antimerger Policy under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act: A Reexamination of the Market Power Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 119-49, April.
  3. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2006. "The Deterrent Effect of Alternative Execution Methods," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 909-941, October.
  4. Donohue III, John J. & Wolfers, Justin, 2006. "Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate," IZA Discussion Papers 1949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Albert Banal‐Estañol & Paul Heidhues & Rainer Nitsche & Jo Seldeslachts, 2010. "Screening And Merger Activity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 794-817, December.
  6. Golbe, Devra L & White, Lawrence J, 1993. "Catch a Wave: The Time Series Behavior of Mergers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 493-99, August.
  7. Long, William F & Schramm, Richard & Tollison, Robert D, 1973. "The Economic Determinants of Antitrust Activity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 351-64, October.
  8. Andrade, Gregor & Stafford, Erik, 2004. "Investigating the economic role of mergers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-36, January.
  9. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  10. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Paul H. Rubin & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2003. "Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Postmoratorium Panel Data," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 344-376, August.
  11. Mocan, H Naci & Gittings, R Kaj, 2003. "Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 453-78, October.
  12. Jo Seldeslachts & Joseph A. Clougherty & Pedro Pita Barros, 2009. "Settle for Now but Block for Tomorrow: The Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy Tools," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 607-634, 08.
  13. Eckbo, B Espen, 1992. " Mergers and the Value of Antitrust Deterrence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1005-29, July.
  14. Doern, G. Bruce & Wilks, Stephen (ed.), 1996. "Comparative Competition Policy: National Institutions in a Global Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198280620, September.
  15. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2009. "Statistical Variability and the Deterrent Effect of the Death Penalty," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 370-398.
  16. Cameron, Samuel, 1994. "A review of the econometric evidence on the effects of capital punishment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 197-214.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreea Cosnita-Langlais & Lars Sørgard, 2014. "Enforcement vs Deterrence in Merger Control: Can Remedies Lead to Lower Welfare?," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-29, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  2. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew C. Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," NBER Working Papers 19939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Wey, Christian, 2012. "The effects of remedies on merger activity in oligopoly," DICE Discussion Papers 81, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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