Revising the Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming

Posted: 24 Oct 2010  

Dennis W. Carlton

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are currently in the process of revising their Horizontal Merger Guidelines. I explain that if a revision is to occur, then there are certain parts of the Guidelines that are most in need of revision, including the sections on unilateral and coordinated effects, committed and uncommitted entry, numerical concentration thresholds for safe harbors, and fixed costs. I also explain what should not become part of any new Guidelines, such as replacing the market definition/market concentration starting point with a competitive effects framework such as “upward pricing pressure.” The proposed Guidelines were published in April 2010. I present my reactions to the proposed Guidelines and discuss several caveats that courts, foreign antitrust agencies, and the business community should be aware of as they try to interpret what the proposed Guidelines suggest about appropriate antitrust policy.

Keywords: Horizontal Merger Guidelines

JEL Classification: L1, L4, K21

Suggested Citation

Carlton , Dennis W., Revising the Horizontal Merger Guidelines (September 1, 2010). Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1695706

Dennis W. Carlton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
312-322-0215 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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