Sharper Focus: Market Shares in the Merger Guidelines

Posted: 11 Sep 2001  

George B. Shepherd

Emory University School of Law

Helen S. Shepherd

Government of the United States of America - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

William G. Shepherd

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics

Abstract

The U.S. Merger Guidelines have two main defects. First, they look mainly at entry conditions at the periphery of each market, rather than at real market power at the core of each market. Second, they are overloaded with theories and tests which rely on over 50 "factors," most of which can't be measured. The Guidelines therefore give little real "guidance" about U.S. antitrust agencies' actions toward real mergers.

The Guidelines should restore the tight focus on the merging firms' market shares, just as all smart business leaders and observers do. That refocusing would make the Guidelines reliable, crystal-clear and useful. It would also reduce various economic losses that are caused by the vagueness and bloat of the current Guidelines.

Keywords: Antitrust, merger, guidelines

JEL Classification: L0, L4

Suggested Citation

Shepherd, George B. and Shepherd, Helen S. and Shepherd, William G., Sharper Focus: Market Shares in the Merger Guidelines. Antitrust Bulletin, Winter 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=268988

George B. Shepherd (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6978 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

Helen S. Shepherd

Government of the United States of America - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

881 1st Street NE
Washington, DC 20426
United States

William Geoffrey Shepherd

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

916 Thompson
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
413-545-0443 (Phone)
413-549-4476 (Fax)

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