The FTC’s Approach to Consumer Privacy
he FTC’s Bureau of Economics has a long tradition of conducting ex post evaluations of consummated mergers, beginning with (then) FTC staff economists David Barton and Roger Sherman’s 1984 examination of the Xidex mergers of the 1970s. Over the last two decades, FTC economists have publicly released 27 merger retrospective studies. The vast majority of merger retrospectives authored or co-authored by Bureau economists are ultimately published in peer-reviewed journals.
This Hearing will gather information from experts to help guide the FTC’s future merger retrospective research program. The Hearing will consist of four sessions. In the first session, a panel will summarize the findings of existing studies, then discuss the requirements for informative retrospective studies. The second session will examine how the findings from merger retrospectives can be used to improve enforcement agencies’ prospective merger enforcement programs, including merger simulation tools and design of merger remedies. The third session will be a panel discussion of how, or if, merger retrospectives can be used to evaluate and guide antitrust policy. In the final session, an expert panel will discuss how the FTC should focus its resources on merger retrospectives in the near future.