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Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement

  • Orley C. Ashenfelter
  • Daniel Hosken
  • Matthew Weinberg

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14798.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14798.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Publication status: published as Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2009. "Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 5.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14798
Note: LE PE
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken, 2008. "The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies," Working Papers 1037, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  6. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Stillman, Robert, 1983. "Examining antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 225-240, April.
  8. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
  9. Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "The Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers: A Survey," Working Papers 62, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  10. 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.
  11. McAfee, R. Preston & Williams, Michael A., 1988. "Can event studies detect anticompetitive mergers?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 199-203.
  12. Justine S. Hastings & Richard J. Gilbert, 2005. "MARKET POWER, VERTICAL INTEGRATION AND THE WHOLESALE PRICE OF GASOLINE -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 469-492, December.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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.
  16. 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.
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