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Economics at the FTC: Horizontal Mergers and Data Security


  • Dan Hanner

    () (Bureau of Economics)

  • Ginger Zhe Jin

    () (Bureau of Economics
    University of Maryland)

  • Marc Luppino

    () (Bureau of Economics)

  • Ted Rosenbaum

    () (Bureau of Economics)


This article describes aspects of the economic analyses that were performed on three matters on which economists in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission have worked during this past year. The first two matters were merger investigations: They (separately) involved tobacco manufacturers and food distributors. While these investigations shared some common attributes, such as the importance of the proposed divestitures, this essay demonstrates how our analysis must vary based on the types of information and the competitive concerns presented by specific transactions. The third section discusses a general economic approach to estimating consumer harm from data breaches, which is illustrated with an example of an application to a recent case.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Hanner & Ginger Zhe Jin & Marc Luppino & Ted Rosenbaum, 2016. "Economics at the FTC: Horizontal Mergers and Data Security," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(4), pages 613-631, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:49:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s11151-016-9548-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s11151-016-9548-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ciliberto Federico & Kuminoff Nicolai V, 2010. "Public Policy and Market Competition: How the Master Settlement Agreement Changed the Cigarette Industry," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-46, July.
    2. Farrell Joseph & Shapiro Carl, 2010. "Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers: An Economic Alternative to Market Definition," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-41, March.
    3. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "An Experimental Approach to Merger Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 19703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Joseph Farrell & David Balan & Keith Brand & Brett Wendling, 2011. "Economics at the FTC: Hospital Mergers, Authorized Generic Drugs, and Consumer Credit Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 39(4), pages 271-296, December.
    5. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "Empirical Properties of Diversion Ratios," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 864, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Jan 2019.
    6. Sonia Jaffe & E. Glen Weyl, 2013. "The First-Order Approach to Merger Analysis," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 188-218, November.
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