Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers

42 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2014

See all articles by Orley Ashenfelter

Orley Ashenfelter

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel S. Hosken

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission

Matthew Weinberg

Drexel University - Department of Economics & International Business

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

In The Antitrust Paradox, Robert Bork viewed most mergers as either competitively neutral or efficiency enhancing. In his view, only mergers creating a dominant firm or monopoly were likely to harm consumers. Bork was especially skeptical of oligopoly concerns resulting from mergers. In this paper, we provide a critique of Bork's views on merger policy from The Antitrust Paradox. Many of Bork's recommendations have been implemented over time and have improved merger analysis. Bork's proposed horizontal merger policy, however, was too permissive. In particular, the empirical record shows that mergers in oligopolistic markets can raise consumer prices.

Suggested Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley C. and Hosken, Daniel S. and Weinberg, Matthew, Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers (February 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19939. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2403663

Orley C. Ashenfelter (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4040 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Daniel S. Hosken

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

Matthew Weinberg

Drexel University - Department of Economics & International Business ( email )

3141 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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