NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies

Orley Ashenfelter, Daniel Hosken

NBER Working Paper No. 13859
Issued in March 2008
NBER Program(s):   LE   ME   PE   IO

In this paper we propose a method to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. horizontal merger policy and apply it to the study of five recent consumer product mergers. We selected the mergers from those that, from the public record, seemed to be most problematic for the antitrust agencies. Thus we estimate an upper bound on the likely price effect of completed mergers. Our study employs retail scanner data and uses familiar panel data program evaluation procedures to measure price changes. Our results indicate that four of the five mergers resulted in some increases in consumer prices, while the fifth merger had little effect.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13859

Published: The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Mergers on the Enforcement Margin Orley Ashenfelter and Daniel Hosken Journal of Law and Economics Vol. 53, No. 3 (August 2010), pp. 417-466 Published by: The University of Chicago Press

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