Do Court Decisions Drive the Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Policy on Merger Settlements?

Do Court Decisions Drive the Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Policy on Merger Settlements? Mergers are generally conglomerate in nature with only minor (if any) horizontal overlaps. Under U.S. law, an enforcement agency may challenge any anticompetitive aspect of the merger and the consequent delay associated with litigation would impose costs on the firm. These costs may give the enforcement agency “leverage” to extract a settlement even when the firm would prevail in court. This paper explores whether the FTC’s decisions to challenge transactions approximate the case law. We find that the representative enforcement regimes of the FTC and the courts are remarkably similar, although the FTC credits efficiencies, while courts consider buyer sophistication as a mitigating factor. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Do Court Decisions Drive the Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Policy on Merger Settlements?

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-008-9195-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mergers are generally conglomerate in nature with only minor (if any) horizontal overlaps. Under U.S. law, an enforcement agency may challenge any anticompetitive aspect of the merger and the consequent delay associated with litigation would impose costs on the firm. These costs may give the enforcement agency “leverage” to extract a settlement even when the firm would prevail in court. This paper explores whether the FTC’s decisions to challenge transactions approximate the case law. We find that the representative enforcement regimes of the FTC and the courts are remarkably similar, although the FTC credits efficiencies, while courts consider buyer sophistication as a mitigating factor.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 12, 2008

References

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