Cornerstone Research Experts in Focus: FTC Withdrawal from U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines

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Experts in Focus is the firm’s video and podcast series in which we interview academic experts about their research on a variety of economic and finance topics. This podcast brings together former economic leaders from the FTC and DOJ to provide their insights into the FTC’s decision and future iterations of the Vertical Merger Guidelines.

In September 2021, the Federal Trade Commission decided to unilaterally withdraw from the U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines just a year after they were jointly issued by the FTC and DOJ. What does this mean in terms of competition policy and the agencies’ approaches to merger reviews?

This podcast brings together former economic leaders of the FTC and DOJ to provide their insights into the FTC’s decision and the future of vertical merger analysis. Aviv Nevo of the University of Pennsylvania and Andrew Sweeting of the University of Maryland join Bob Majure of Cornerstone Research to discuss:

  • Are efficiencies as important to vertical merger analysis as the guidelines suggested?
  • Is there an economic consensus in this area and how can that be better reflected in guidelines?
  • What are some areas of potential concern and of opportunity for any new version of the guidelines?

The views expressed in this podcast are solely those of the speakers, who are responsible for the content, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.

Speakers

Aviv Nevo

George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor,
Professor of Economics and Marketing,
The Wharton School and Department of Economics,
University of Pennsylvania;
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

Andrew Sweeting

Professor, Department of Economics,
University of Maryland, College Park;
Former Director, Bureau of Economics,
U.S. Federal Trade Commission

  • Washington

W. Robert Majure

Vice President