Review of Industrial Organization
13: 487–489, 1998.
1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Paths to Common Ground? A Rejoinder to Dewey’s
LUCILE S. KEYES
2605 Thirty-ﬁrst Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Abstract. While subsequent discussion in this Review has failed to reconcile the merger policies
proposed by Dewey and Keyes, it has suggested that they are not as far apart as they seemed
at ﬁrst reading. It now appears that both writers advocate a serious critical consideration of the
“efﬁciencies” claims advanced by proponents of otherwise unacceptable mergers. Moreover, there
may be a possibility that Dewey’s special “large-ﬁrm” merger control could be defended on grounds
which would not conﬂict with Keyes’ proposal but would simply complement it.
Key words: Merges, merger, guidelines, antitrust policy.
Although there may be little hope of reconciling the twoobviouslyconﬂicting views
on merger policy held by Professor Dewey and the present writer, respectively, his
most recent comment suggests that they are not as far apart as they seemed at ﬁrst
Here, I shall point out two signposts which could lead to common ground.
First, Professor Dewey now suggests that “efﬁciencies defenses” offered by
“large” merger proponents should be subject to genuine critical scrutiny by author-
ities charged with screening them, rather than simply perused and ﬁled, as his
ﬁrst comment seemed to recommend.
On this point, there is complete agreement
between the two authors. Moreover, if this interpretation is correct, the discov-
ery of additional new areas of agreement should follow. For example, it should
become clear that the investigating ofﬁcials should not be limited to evaluating the
availability and probable effectiveness of the proposals presented by a merger’s
proponents, but should also be empowered and obliged to evaluate the availability
and probable effectiveness of alternate means of producing the beneﬁts attributed
by these proponents to the merger itself, regardless of whether the Dewey or the
Keyes formula is adopted. This conclusion follows from the nature of the formulae
The type of merger control advanced by both authors contains two essential
See References under the authors’ names.
See Dewey (1997, pp. 443–444).