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What's happened at divested bank offices? An empirical analysis of antitrust divestitures in bank mergers

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  • Steven J. Pilloff
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    Abstract

    In their competitive analysis of proposed bank mergers, the Federal Reserve Board, Department of Justice, and other agencies accept branch divestitures as an antitrust remedy in local markets where there is substantial overlap between the acquirer and target. The results of this study, which examines the performance of 751 branches that were divested between June 1989 and June 1998 in conjunction with a merger that raised possible competition issues, suggest that the policy of accepting branch divestitures as an antitrust remedy has been successful. Divested branches operate for lengths of time that are comparable to all branches, and even though they experience substantial deposit runoff around the time of the merger, divested branches subsequently exhibit deposit growth rates that are comparable to those of other similar branches. Cross-sectional analysis does not find any significant relationships between either deposit runoff or subsequent growth and various characteristics of the branch being sold or the firm that purchased it, except for some evidence that post-divestiture growth may increase with the size of the purchaser.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2002-60.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-60

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    Keywords: Bank mergers;

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    1. Jim Burke, 1998. "Divestiture as an antitrust remedy in bank mergers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Prager, Robin A & Hannan, Timothy H, 1998. "Do Substantial Horizontal Mergers Generate Significant Price Effects? Evidence from the Banking Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 433-52, December.
    3. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1998. "The Efficiency Cost Of Market Power In The Banking Industry: A Test Of The "Quiet Life" And Related Hypotheses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 454-465, August.
    4. Steven Pilloff & Stephen Rhoades, 2002. "Structure and Profitability in Banking Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 81-98, February.
    5. Steven Pilloff, 1999. "Multimarket Contact in Banking," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 163-182, March.
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