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Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement

Author

Listed:
  • Orley C. Ashenfelter
  • Daniel Hosken
  • Matthew Weinberg

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2009. "Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 14798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14798 Note: LE PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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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," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    2. Luca Aguzzoni & Elena Argentesi & Lorenzo Ciari & Tomaso Duso & Massimo Tognoni, 2016. "Ex post Merger Evaluation in the U.K. Retail Market for Books," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 170-200, March.
    3. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2015. "On The Price Effects Of Horizontal Mergers: A Theoretical Interpretation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 236-255, July.
    4. Brito, Duarte & Pereira, Pedro & Ramalho, Joaquim J.S., 2013. "Mergers, coordinated effects and efficiency in the Portuguese non-life insurance industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 554-568.
    5. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(S3), pages 67-100.
    6. 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.
    7. Dan Luo, 2014. "The Price Effects of the Delta/Northwest Airline Merger," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(1), pages 27-48, February.
    8. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2012. "Price Competition and Concentration in Search and Negotiation Markets: Evidence from Mortgage Lending," Staff Working Papers 12-4, Bank of Canada.
    9. 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.
    10. Romahn, André & Friberg, Richard, 2012. "Ex-Post Merger Review and Divestitures," IESE Research Papers D/1056, IESE Business School.
    11. Robert Kulick, 2017. "Ready-to-Mix: Horizontal Mergers, Prices, and Productivity," Working Papers 17-38, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. DOI Naoshi & OHASHI Hiroshi, 2015. "An Airline Merger and its Remedies: JAL-JAS of 2002," Discussion papers 15100, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Grigolon, Laura & Leheyda, Nina & Verboven, Frank, 2016. "Scrapping subsidies during the financial crisis — Evidence from Europe," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-59.
    14. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken, 2010. "The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Mergers on the Enforcement Margin," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 417-466.
    15. Leheyda, Nina & Verboven, Frank, 2013. "Scrapping Subsidies during the Financial Crisis - Evidence from the Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 9629, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Elena Argentesi & Albert Banal-Estanol & Jo Seldeslachts & Meagan Andrews, 2017. "A Retrospective Evaluation of the GDF/Suez Merger: Effects on Gas Hub Prices," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1664, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Huang, Kun & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2010. "Evaluating a Supermarket Merger Event: The Case of Copps and Kohl's in Madison WI," Working Papers 201441, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food System Research Group.
    20. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-Fran?ois Houde, 2014. "The Effect of Mergers in Search Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3365-3396, October.
    21. Joseph Farrell & Paul Pautler & Michael Vita, 2009. "Economics at the FTC: Retrospective Merger Analysis with a Focus on Hospitals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 35(4), pages 369-385, December.
    22. Nicholas Kreisle, 2015. "Merger Policy at the Margin: Western Refining’s Acquisition of Giant Industries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(1), pages 71-89, August.
    23. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, "undated". "Horizontal Mergers in the Spokes Model," Discussion Papers 09/12, Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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