Antitrust, Institutions, and Merger Control

96 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2010 Last revised: 26 Jun 2010

See all articles by D. Daniel Sokol

D. Daniel Sokol

USC Gould School of Law; USC Marshall School of Business

Date Written: June 16, 2010


This article makes two primary contributions to the antitrust literature. First, it identifies the dynamic interrelationship across antitrust institutions. Second, it provides new empirical evidence from practitioner surveys to explore how the dynamic institutional interrelationship plays out in the area of merger control. This article provides a descriptive, analytical overview of the various institutions to better frame the larger institutional interrelations for a comparative institutional analysis. In the next Part it examines mergers as a case study of how one might apply antitrust institutional analysis across these different kinds and levels of antitrust institutions. The Article utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods based on survey data of antitrust practitioners on merger issues to better understand institutional choice and the decision-making process. The surveys reveal results that run counter to the popular antitrust discourse about the level of merger enforcement under Bush. Slightly more than half of all practitioners surveyed found no change in merger enforcement under Bush in their own practice and the vast majority of the rest found a change in enforcement to be merely at the margins. The Article concludes with observations from the case study and appeals for more theoretical and empirical work in antitrust institutional analysis.

Keywords: antitrust, mergers, institutional analysis, competition, law and economics

JEL Classification: K21, L40

Suggested Citation

Sokol, D. Daniel, Antitrust, Institutions, and Merger Control (June 16, 2010). George Mason Law Review, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2010, Available at SSRN:

D. Daniel Sokol (Contact Author)

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

USC Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

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