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Should Antitrust Consent Decrees Regulate Post-Merger Pricing?


Farrell Malone


Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Gregory Sidak


Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University; Criterion Economics, L.L.C.


Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 1-18, 2007

Abstract:     
Competitors proposing to merge sometimes propose price regulation in a consent decree as a condition of receiving merger approval. Antitrust enforcement agencies in the United States have been reluctant to use such price-regulating decrees, as they suffer from practical problems in implementation. It is less recognized, however, that the use of consent decrees to regulate post-merger prices may be unlawful. Such decrees exceed the scope of antitrust law and blur the distinction between the legislative power to regulate prices and the executive power to enforce the antitrust laws. Despite the willingness of merging parties to accept price regulation in consent decrees, economic and constitutional considerations counsel against antitrust enforcement agencies adopting this practice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

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Date posted: August 1, 2007 ; Last revised: November 2, 2009

Suggested Citation

Malone, Farrell and Sidak, Gregory, Should Antitrust Consent Decrees Regulate Post-Merger Pricing?. Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 1-18, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1004023

Contact Information

Farrell Malone
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton ( email )
2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States
J. Gregory Sidak (Contact Author)
Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University ( email )
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
Criterion Economics, L.L.C. ( email )
1614 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
United States
(202) 518-5121 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.criterioneconomics.com
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