Dennis Carlton on Revising the Merger Guidelines

1. Do the Guidelines need revision?

The Horizontal Merger Guidelines have served a very valuable purpose by making horizontal merger analysis much more sensible than it was prior to the 1980s.There is much less disagreement about horizontal merger policy than there is about vertical antitrust policy so some vertical guidelines would be especially welcome. Nevertheless, despite the lack of widespread disagreement about horizontal merger policy, it is desirable, though not critical, to improve the horizontal guidelines, making sure that they are up to date and relevant. I would be reluctant to change them significantly because they have served a valuable purpose by providing a consistent and durable framework for merger analysis primarily by focusing attention on the right questions to ask in merger analysis, namely how will price and competition be affected post merger.

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