Does Merger Control Work? A Retrospective on U.S. Enforcement Actions and Merger Outcomes

  title={Does Merger Control Work? A Retrospective on U.S. Enforcement Actions and Merger Outcomes},
  author={Jr. John E. Kwoka},
The accuracy and efficacy of merger control are important questions that have long posed challenges for policy evaluation. The growing number of merger retrospectives provide an opportunity to conduct such an analysis since they measure the outcomes of actual mergers. This paper compiles all available merger retrospectives that meet scholarly criteria, resulting in 48 mergers with measured price outcomes. It supplements this data base with information about the actions taken by U.S. antitrust… 

Tables from this paper

A Meta-Study of Merger Retrospectives in the United States

Over the last decade, merger retrospectives have become increasingly popular. However, it is far from clear what implications can be drawn from these analyses, because the results suffer from a


  • Economics
  • 2016
When analysing mergers which risk generating anti-competitive effects, competition agencies must establish whether a transaction generates sufficient anti-competitive harm to either prohibit it or

What Can Merger Retrospectives Tell Us? An Assessment of European Mergers

In this review of retrospective European merger studies we provide a discussion of the price effect of analysed mergers and examine whether the antitrust agency made the right decisions. We find that

Post-Merger Price Dynamics Matter, So Why Do Merger Retrospectives Ignore Them?

The price effect of past mergers has been extensively researched over the past two decades. The overwhelming majority of these studies estimate the over-time average price effect of the merger.

John Kwoka's Mergers, Merger Control, and Remedies: A Critical Review

John Kwoka’s recently published Mergers, Merger Control, and Remedies (2015) has received considerable attention from both antitrust practitioners and academics. The book features a meta-analysis of

Modifying Merger Consent Decrees to Improve Merger Enforcement Policy

This short article analyzes a proposal that merger consent decrees should include a review and modification provision that would give the agency the ability to petition the court to order further

Remedies vs. Extreme Options in Merger Control

We investigate how remedies in merger control affect information acquisition by an antitrust agency. We identify conditions under which an ''extreme options'' regime which does not allow for remedies

Merger Guidelines and the Limits of Our Understanding

The merger guidelines have evolved from a structural standard for determining the legality of mergers to an open-ended evaluation that attempts to predict whether some specific harm to competition is

Effective European Antitrust: Does EC Merger Policy Generate Deterrence?

We estimate the deterrence effects of European Commission (EC) merger policy instruments over the 1990-2009 period. Our empirical results suggest that phase-1 remedies uniquely generate robust

Impact Evaluation of Merger Control Decisions

This paper provides a comparative analysis of methods for the empirical ex post evaluation of merger control decisions. It develops a competition-policy oriented framework of assessment criteria for



Behavioral Merger Remedies: Evaluation and Implications for Antitrust Enforcement

The 2011 Antitrust Division Policy Guide to Merger Remedies offers a more favorable view of behavioral remedies relative to structural divestitures than past U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) policy


been reviewed by, nor does it necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or any of its members. Louis Silvia for their helpful comments on earlier drafts. This report presents three case studies

Generating Evidence to Guide Merger Enforcement

The challenge of effective merger enforcement is tremendous. U.S. antitrust agencies must, by statute, quickly forecast the competitive effects of mergers that occur in virtually every sector of the

Reinvigorating Horizontal Merger Enforcement

Over the past forty years, there has been a remarkable transformation in horizontal merger enforcement in the United States. With no change in the underlying statute, the Clayton Act, there has been

Merger Retrospective Studies: A Review

The debate concerning whether the antitrust agencies under the Bush administration were lax with respect to merger review has led to a call to evaluate retrospectively the competitive effects of

Why We Need to Measure the Effect of Merger Policy and How to Do it

In this article, I explain the inadequacy of our current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of antitrust policy towards mergers. I then discuss the types of data that one must collect in

The Price Effects of Hospital Mergers: A Case Study of the Sutter-Summit Transaction

We conduct a retrospective study of the Sutter-Summit hospital merger to assess whether antitrust enforcement in this matter was appropriate. This consummated merger combined two hospitals located

The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool

Many experts have speculated that U.S. antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers was too lenient over the last decade. We estimate the price effects resulting from the merger of Whirlpool and

Economics at the FTC: Retrospective Merger Analysis with a Focus on Hospitals

Economists at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) support the agency’s competition and consumer protection missions. In this year’s essay we discuss efforts at the FTC and elsewhere to examine