Review of Industrial Organization 16: 185–191, 2000.
© 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Potential Competition: The Bell Atlantic/NYNEX
ANDREW S. JOSKOW
National Economic Research Associates, 1255 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, U.S.A.
During my tenure as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics I had the
opportunity to revisit an old issue in antitrust merger analysis – potential compe-
tition. Although once considered a dead issue, developments in the telecommu-
nications industry have brought this issue to the fore again. Before I review how
the economists at the Antitrust Division addressed this issue, I want to express my
admiration of the many people associated with the Antitrust Division during the
time that I was there.
Unlike most of the people speaking today, I am in the unique position of having
been an economist in EPO/EAG for 12 years before becoming the Deputy Assistant
As a result I had the opportunity to work with a large number of
the distinguished people who are here today: Rick Warren-Boulton, Bobby Willig,
Janusz Ordover, Rich Gilbert and Carl Shapiro. I would like to specially mention
that if it were not for the incredible persuasiveness of Rick Warren-Boulton and the
incredible enthusiasm he showed for everything done at EPO/EAG, I would never
have come to work for DOJ. So to him, I am certainly extremely grateful. And I
know that EAG has been in good hands under the leadership of Dan Rubinfeld. I
have also had the opportunity to work for a number of Assistant Attorneys General,
including as Deputy under Anne Bingaman and Joel Klein. It was an honor to serve
under both of them. All of my best memories, though, are associated with the many
colleagues I had over 13 years at the DOJ. There is no ﬁner group of people, and it
was one of the best experiences an industrial organization economist could have.
If I had to summarize the all-consuming issue that arose during my tenure as
Deputy Assistant Attorney General in one word, it would be telecommunications.
The passage of the Telecommunications Act in February 1996 set in motion a new
era, which promised an end to the local telephone monopoly and a process for an
The ofﬁce I originally joined was called the Economic Policy Ofﬁce (EPO). When the Antitrust
Division was reorganized in 1986, the name of the ofﬁce was changed to the Economic Analysis