Transparency at the Federal Trade Commission: The Horizontal Merger Review Process 1996-2003

91 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2005

See all articles by Malcolm B. Coate

Malcolm B. Coate

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Shawn W. Ulrick

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes the Federal Trade Commission's merger enforcement decisions, to supplement the 2004 release of the Horizontal Merger Investigation Data. The study provides insights into the review process for both multi- and single-market mergers. We present concentration-based models, customized to the relevant industry, for mergers with large numbers of overlaps. When more detailed data is available (for mergers with 3 or fewer overlaps), the analyses also focus on additional factors. We find evidence to suggest that, in addition to market structure, verified customer complaints and entry considerations also affect the enforcement decision. Finally, the study notes that the Commission's enforcement policy has been stable during the 1996 through 2003 time period.

Keywords: Antitrust Policy, Mergers, Competition Policy, Herfindahl, Entry Barriers

JEL Classification: K21, l49, l51

Suggested Citation

Coate, Malcolm B. and Ulrick, Shawn W., Transparency at the Federal Trade Commission: The Horizontal Merger Review Process 1996-2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=659481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.659481

Malcolm B. Coate (Contact Author)

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ( email )

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

Shawn W. Ulrick

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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