Teaching Merger Law Through In-Class Simulations

Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle (June 2015), Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2015

See all articles by Spencer Weber Waller

Spencer Weber Waller

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: April 7, 2015


This essay outlines how I have taught the mergers and acquisitions section of my basic antitrust law course for the past five years. Instead of relying on casebooks, the black letter law, and merger guidelines, I use an in-class simulation that moves the students from passive to active learning over a two to three week period. Having experimented with various formats for the simulation, I am convinced that adding such an exercise better conveys the content and process of modern merger practice and gives the students a taste of what the practice world holds in store for them.

In this article, I describe my general approach to teaching antitrust law and then discuss the process for the annual merger simulation. I follow with a description of the excellent argument students presented this year based on the now abandoned National Cine-Media (NCM) acquisition of Screenvision. As fate would have it, our simulation concluded two days after the parties announced they had abandoned the transaction in the face of the complaint filed by the Justice Department. This did not deter the students who pressed on with a spirited in-class hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction. I conclude with brief thoughts about the value of such simulations in a rapidly changing environment for legal education.

Keywords: mergers, acquisitions, Clayton Act, Merger Guidelines, Theories of Harm, Market Definition, Market Power, Barriers to Entry, Maverick, Efficiencies

JEL Classification: K21, K04, L04, L82

Suggested Citation

Waller, Spencer Weber, Teaching Merger Law Through In-Class Simulations (April 7, 2015). Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle (June 2015), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591483

Spencer Weber Waller (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E Pearson St.
Room 1041
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-915-7137 (Phone)
312-915-7201 (Fax)

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