Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

February 2008

Abstract

The Federal Trade Commission is planning to host a public workshop on February 12, 2008 to examine the application of unilateral effects theory to mergers of firms that sell competing, but differentiated products. ”Unilateral effects” as a formal theory of competitive harm was added to the joint FTC/DOJ Horizontal Merger Guidelines in 1992. The theory recognizes that, in some instances, mergers may create or enhance market power by allowing the merged firm to profitably raise prices, without accommodation of other rival market incumbents. While section 2.2 of the Guidelines explains that unilateral competitive effects can arise in a variety of different settings, the most common application of the theory is in differentiated product markets, where the products sold by different market participants are imperfect substitutes for one another.During the workshop, government officials, antitrust practitioners, economists and others will address the foundations of unilateral effects theory, the challenges of market definition in differentiated product cases, judicial perspectives on unilateral effects theory, and the practicalities of evidentiary production. For more information, contact Andrew Heimert at 202-326-2474 or Gustav Chiarello at 202-326-2633.

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