Transparency at the Federal Trade Commission: The Horizontal Merger Review Process 1996–2003
Posted: 24 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 22, 2012
Government policy is more effective when the enforcement regime is transparent, because the economy benefits from the resulting reduction in transactions costs. The Federal Trade Commission has promoted transparency through a number of formal and informal programs. Examples include detailed notices to aid public comment, press releases that clarify reasons for specific decisions, policy statements in speeches, and several research projects. To further increase the information available to the public, the Commission recently initiated the Merger Transparency Project, a comprehensive review of the staff memoranda collected in all Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) horizontal merger matters for which second requests were issued during fiscal years 1996–2003. Tabulations of this merger information were publicly released in February 2004. This article supplements the data release with econometric analysis to identify statistical regularities in the enforcement data.
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