The Evolution of Judicial Standards: Evidence from Litigated Merger Trials

33 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 6 Jun 2022

See all articles by Jeffrey T. Macher

Jeffrey T. Macher

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business

John W. Mayo

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business

David E. M. Sappington

University of Florida - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mark Whitener

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business; Center for Business and Public Policy, McDonough School of Business

Date Written: June 05, 2022

Abstract

A popular narrative suggests that, in the wake of the rise of the Chicago School, the judiciary has grown increasingly lax, making it increasingly difficult for antitrust agencies to successfully challenge mergers in court. We develop a theoretical framework that examines the impact of changing judicial standards on merger challenges, settlements, and court outcomes. We then undertake an empirical investigation using the population of all mergers, challenges, and litigated outcomes in the U.S. between 1979 and 2021 to test for the presence of shifting judicial standards. We find that, contrary to the popular narrative, judicial standards have shifted in favor of the antitrust agencies during the past four decades.

Keywords: Antitrust, Mergers, Judicial Standards

JEL Classification: L4, K21

Suggested Citation

Macher, Jeffrey T. and Mayo, John W. and Sappington, David E. M. and Whitener, Mark, The Evolution of Judicial Standards: Evidence from Litigated Merger Trials (June 05, 2022). Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper No. 3809174, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3809174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3809174

Jeffrey T. Macher

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business ( email )

335 Hariri Building
Washington, DC 20057
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202-687-4793 (Phone)

John W. Mayo (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
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(202) 687-6972 (Phone)
(202) 687-7310 (Fax)

David E. M. Sappington

University of Florida - Department of Economics ( email )

224 Matherly Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7140
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352-392-3904 (Phone)
352-336-1420 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mark Whitener

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-841-3912 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://gufaculty360.georgetown.edu/s/contact/00336000014ShHlAAK/mark-whitener

Center for Business and Public Policy, McDonough School of Business ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-841-3912 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://cbpp.georgetown.edu/people/mark-whitener/

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