The Porcine 2023 Merger Guidelines (The Pig Still Oinks)

Well, they have done it. On Dec. 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) issued their final 2023 merger guidelines, as an early New Year’s gift (nicely sandwiched between Hanukkah, which ended Dec. 15, and Christmas) of the porcine sort.

The two agencies try to put lipstick on this pig by claiming that the guidelines “emphasize the dynamic and complex nature of competition,” an approach that supposedly “enables the agencies to assess the commercial realities of the United States’ modern economy when making enforcement decisions.” But no amount of verbal makeup prevents this porker from oinking, despite the valiant best efforts of the antitrust agencies’ talented and highly respected chief economists (Susan Athey and Aviv Nevo) to argue otherwise.

Read the full piece here.