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Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement

  • Orley C. Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • Daniel Hosken

    (Federal Trade Commission)

  • Matthew Weinberg

    (Federal Trade Commission)

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.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/183ashenfelter.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 1137.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:183ashenfelter
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  1. 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.
  2. Stillman, Robert, 1983. "Examining antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 225-240, April.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. McAfee, R. Preston & Williams, Michael A., 1988. "Can event studies detect anticompetitive mergers?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 199-203.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
  16. Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "The Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers: A Survey," Working Papers 62, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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