Sharper Focus: Market Shares in the Merger Guidelines
George B. Shepherd
Emory University School of Law
Helen S. Shepherd
Government of the United States of America - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
William G. Shepherd
University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics
Antitrust Bulletin, Winter 2001
The U.S. Merger Guidelines have two main defects. First, they look mainly at entry conditions at the periphery of each market, rather than at real market power at the core of each market. Second, they are overloaded with theories and tests which rely on over 50 "factors," most of which can't be measured. The Guidelines therefore give little real "guidance" about U.S. antitrust agencies' actions toward real mergers.
The Guidelines should restore the tight focus on the merging firms' market shares, just as all smart business leaders and observers do. That refocusing would make the Guidelines reliable, crystal-clear and useful. It would also reduce various economic losses that are caused by the vagueness and bloat of the current Guidelines.
Keywords: Antitrust, merger, guidelines
JEL Classification: L0, L4
Date posted: September 11, 2001
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