Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers
In The Antitrust Paradox, Robert Bork viewed most mergers as either competitively neutral or efficiency enhancing. In his view, only mergers creating a dominant firm or monopoly were likely to harm consumers. Bork was especially skeptical of oligopoly concerns resulting from mergers. In this paper, we provide a critique of Bork's views on merger policy from The Antitrust Paradox. Many of Bork's recommendations have been implemented over time and have improved merger analysis. Bork's proposed horizontal merger policy, however, was too permissive. In particular, the empirical record shows that mergers in oligopolistic markets can raise consumer prices.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Federal Trade Commission or the National Bureau of Economic Research. We are grateful for financial support from the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. We would like to thank Pauline Ippolito and Paul Pautler for their assistance, and Dennis Carlton and Sam Peltzman for helpful comments and suggestions.
Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(S3), pages S67 - S100. citation courtesy of