Merger Retrospective Studies: A Review

Mon Dec 15 15:24:38 EST 2008
By Dr. Graeme Hunter et al.

The debate concerning whether the antitrust agencies under the Bush administration were lax with respect to merger review has led to a call to evaluate retrospectively the competitive effects of consummated mergers. Such information would help assess whether enforcement thresholds have been set too high or too low. This article from Antitrust magazine reviews various merger retrospective studies that have appeared since 1990. These studies often employed the "differences-in-differences" econometric approach. While a majority of the studies found that prices increased post-merger, a significant minority found no price increase.