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Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement

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Author Info

  • Orley C. Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • Daniel Hosken

    (Federal Trade Commission)

  • Matthew Weinberg

    (Federal Trade Commission)

Abstract

The challenge of effective merger enforcement is tremendous. U.S. antitrust agencies must, by statute, quickly forecast the competitive effects of mergers that occur in virtually every sector of the economy to determine if mergers can proceed. Surprisingly, given the complexity of the regulators task, there is remarkably little empirical evidence on the effects of mergers to guide regulators. This paper describes the necessity of retrospective analysis of past mergers in building an empirical basis for antitrust enforcement, and provides guidance on the key measurement issues researchers confront in estimating the price effects of mergers. We also describe how evidence from merger retrospectives can be used to evaluate the economic models used to predict the competitive effects of mergers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1137.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:183ashenfelter

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Keywords: Corporate mergers; antitrust enforcement;

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References

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  1. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  2. McAfee, R. Preston & Williams, Michael A., 1988. "Can event studies detect anticompetitive mergers?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 199-203.
  3. Chouinard, Hayley & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 2002. "Gasoline price differences: taxes, pollution regulations, mergers, market power, and market conditions," CUDARE Working Paper Series 951, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  4. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken, 2008. "The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies," NBER Working Papers 13859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  6. Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "The Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers: A Survey," Working Papers 62, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  7. Kim, E Han & Singal, Vijay, 1993. "Mergers and Market Power: Evidence from the Airline Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 549-69, June.
  8. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  9. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  10. 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.
  11. John Simpson & Christopher Taylor, 2008. "Do Gasoline Mergers Affect Consumer Prices? The Marathon Ashland Petroleum and Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Transaction," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 135-152, 02.
  12. Stillman, Robert, 1983. "Examining antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 225-240, April.
  13. Dennis W. Carlton, 2007. "The Need to Measure the Effect of Merger Policy and How to Do It," EAG Discussions Papers 200715, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  14. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
  15. Orley Ashenfelter & David Ashmore & Jonathan Baker & Suzanne Gleason & Daniel Hosken, 2006. "Empirical Methods in Merger Analysis: Econometric Analysis of Pricing in FTC v. Staples," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 265-279.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The credibility revolution in empirical economics: how better research design is taking the con out of econometrics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48898, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Luca Aguzzoni & Elena Argentesi & Lorenzo Ciari & Tomaso Duso & Massimo Tognoni, 2013. "Ex-Post Merger Evaluation in the UK Retail Market for Books," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1310, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Joseph Farrell & Paul Pautler & Michael Vita, 2009. "Economics at the FTC: Retrospective Merger Analysis with a Focus on Hospitals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 369-385, December.
  4. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2012. "On the Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers : A Theoretical Interpretation," Working Papers halshs-00717467, HAL.
  5. Aviv Nevo & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Taking the Dogma out of Econometrics: Structural Modeling and Credible Inference," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 69-82, Spring.
  6. Leheyda, Nina & Verboven, Frank, 2013. "Scrapping subsidies during the financial crisis: Evidence from Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Pennerstorfer, Dieter & Weiss, Christoph, 2013. "Spatial clustering and market power: Evidence from the retail gasoline market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 661-675.
  8. Davies, Stephen & Olczak, Matthew & Coles, Heather, 2011. "Tacit collusion, firm asymmetries and numbers: Evidence from EC merger cases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 221-231, March.
  9. Duarte Brito & Pedro Pereira & Joaquim Ramalho, 2013. "Mergers, Coordinated Effects and Efficiency in the Portuguese Non-Life Insurance Industry," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2013_18, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  10. Packalen, Mikko & Sen, Anindya, 2013. "Static and dynamic merger effects: A market share based empirical analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 12-24.
  11. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2012. "Price Competition and Concentration in Search and Negotiation Markets: Evidence from Mortgage Lending," Working Papers 12-4, Bank of Canada.
  12. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, . "Horizontal Mergers in the Spokes Model," Discussion Papers 09/12, Department of Economics, University of York.

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