Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Steven Hurley (CAT) describes The Use of Surveys in Merger and Competition Analysis.
ABSTRACT:Data generated from surveys have long been used to gather information from a large population efficiently. Used properly by competition authorities and professional advisors, surveys can assist in measuring how consumers value product attributes and make purchasing decisions, which can be invaluable information in assessing whether a particular transaction or conduct is ultimately likely to result in harm to consumer welfare. However, a robust survey takes time, effort, and substantial resources to construct and carry out. There are a significant number of potential pitfalls that, if not carefully considered and managed, can render results wholly unreliable. Nevertheless, by taking appropriate care and applying best practices, surveys and the data they generate are valuable additional empirical tools that can assist competition authorities and advisors in assessing how markets work.