This paper suggests an innovative measure of structural relief obtained in a typical Section 7 settlement. The fraction of competitive overlap subject to divestiture as a condition of the settlement is modeled as a function of merger-specific efficiencies, the proportion of the deal held “hostage” to antitrust review, the merger’s anticompetitive potential, and other factors. The model is applied to data on 86 recent Justice Department cases covering the period 1990–2003 and to the subsample of 1990s cases. All data are collected from publicly available documents only. The government is found to secure larger divestitures when the cost to the acquirer of delaying the settlement is high. The resulting estimates are used to predict several out-of-sample observations.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 12, 2006
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