Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement
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 standardÃ¢â‚¬â€ that most mergers are in markets for intermediate goods, and that a consumer welfare standard implies a tolerance for monopsonyÃ¢â‚¬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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