This comment registers the author's reservations about Professor D.C. Mueller's proposals for revising federal merger policy and about the arguments that he advances in support of them. The comment especially questions the validity of the practice of using concentration data as the basis for inferring the presence or absence of monopoly power. It is argued that the analytical foundation for this practice is non-existent and that the purely statistical foundation is weak. The author finds persuasive Mueller's argument that, in recent decades, the merger activity of large firms has done little or nothing to increase the efficiency of the American economy. He believes that, right or wrong, what drives antitrust is fear of corporate size and power, not fear of textbook monopoly. Therefore, he believes consideration should be given to Mueller's proposal that the ambitious merger projects of large firms should not be allowed to go forward unless they promise some gain in efficiency.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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