Fix It or Forget It
Competition Policy International, Antitrust Chronicle, Summer 2021
9 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 31, 2021
The inherent limitations of remedies as a method of resolving competitive concerns with mergers have become more evident. The expansive use of remedies in actual practice has likely exceeded the capabilities of agencies and courts; and empirical evidence has increasingly cast doubt on their effectiveness. Accordingly, we propose a “no-remedies” policy under which the antitrust agency would not accept any conduct remedies and only limited divestitures. The agencies would only consider those structural changes that have been undertaken (or at least committed to) prior to the parties’ filing their merger proposal and would not enter into negotiation with the parties during the review period. This “Fix It or Forget It” (“FIFI”) policy would encourage merging parties to initiate the necessary competitive fixes and permit the agency to evaluate precisely what the parties file in their proposal. We believe this policy would strengthen merger enforcement by restoring the traditional roles of the agencies and the courts.
Keywords: mergers, remedies, behavioral, structural, Clayton Act, FTC, antitrust division, Tunney Act, DOJ
JEL Classification: K21,K42, K41, L4, L50, L51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation