Evaluating the Evidence on Vertical Mergers

49 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2020 Last revised: 1 Mar 2021

See all articles by Marissa Beck

Marissa Beck

Charles River Associates (CRA)

Fiona M. Scott Morton

Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 31, 2020


In theory, vertical mergers can have both procompetitive and anticompetitive effects. Many early empirical studies found benefits of vertical relationships, but the seminal surveys of this literature are now over a decade old. We review the empirical evidence from the last decade on vertical integration, as well as that in two frequently cited surveys from the mid-2000s. Taken as a whole, the empirical evidence on the change in welfare due to vertical mergers is decidedly mixed, and should certainly not be used as a basis for a presumption that most vertical mergers are procompetitive or harmless.

Keywords: Vertical Merger Guidelines, Empirical Evidence, Antitrust

Suggested Citation

Beck, Marissa and Scott Morton, Fiona M., Evaluating the Evidence on Vertical Mergers (December 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3554073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3554073

Marissa Beck (Contact Author)

Charles River Associates (CRA)

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Suite 1500
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Fiona M. Scott Morton

Yale School of Management ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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