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The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies

  • Orley Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • Daniel Hosken

    (Federal Trade Commission)

In this paper we propose a method to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. horizontal merger policy and apply it to the study of five recent consumer product mergers. We selected the mergers from those that, from the public record, seemed to be most problematic for the antitrust agencies. Thus we estimate an upper bound on the likely price effect of completed mergers. Our study employs retail scanner data and uses familiar panel data program evaluation procedures to measure price changes. Our results indicate that four of the five mergers resulted in some increases in consumer prices, while the fifth merger had little effect.

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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/160ashenfelter.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1037.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:160ashenfelter
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  20. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
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