Review of Industrial Organization (2006) 29:327–348 © Springer 2006
Economics at the FTC: Data Intensive Mergers
and Policy R&D
MICHAEL A. SALINGER
, KEITH B. ANDERSON, CHRISTOPHER
J. GARMON, DAVID R. SCHMIDT and JOHN M. YUN
Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Washington,
DC 20580, U.S.A.
Abstract. Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supports both the
competition and consumer protection missions of the agency. In this year’s essay we
discuss a range of activities focusing on data-intensive antitrust cases in the hospital and
consumer products industries. We also discuss our most recent work on gasoline pricing.
Policy-focused research and competition advocacy takes center stage as we discuss some
health care advocacy work in the administration of pharmaceutical insurance beneﬁts and
efforts to understand the real estate business more completely. Finally, we describe our
efforts to quantify the extent of “identity theft”.
Key words: antitrust, consumer protection, FTC, hospitals, identity theft, mergers,
petroleum, pharmaceuticals, real estate.
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Economics (BE) is
composed of 70 PhD-level economists, a small cadre of accountants, and
25 other staff who support the FTC’s two missions of promoting com-
petition (antitrust) and protecting consumers. The bulk of the work done
by the Bureau is related directly to law enforcement activities, such as
case investigation or litigation support. Other activities involve policy anal-
ysis and research related to the missions. That research helps support
our efforts in promoting competition-based policies at the state and fed-
eral levels and in fostering coordination in policy development and law
enforcement around the globe.
Last year’s contribution to the Antitrust and Regulatory Update
program focused heavily on economists’ roles in antitrust cases and research
in the oil industry. We continue to work diligently on issues related to the oil
industry (and we will later mention one signiﬁcant piece of that work), but this
Author for correspondence. E-mail: email@example.com.