Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
For a merger that created lots of talk about the lack of antitrust enforcement under President Bush (see here for Baker & Shapiro, see here for Pitofsky, see here for my survey of practitioners that paints an alternative view from Baker/Shapiro and Pitofsky) we now have some empirical work done on the effects of Maytag-Whirlpool. Orley C. Ashenfelter (Princeton), Daniel S. Hosken (FTC), and Matthew C. Weinberg (Bryn Mawr) has posted The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool.
ABSTRACT: Many experts speculate that U.S. antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers has been too lenient. We estimate the price effects of Whirlpool’s acquisition of Maytag to provide new evidence on this debate. We compare price changes in appliance markets most affected by the merger to markets where concentration changed much less or not at all. We estimate price increases for dishwashers and relatively large price increases for clothes dryers, but no price effects for refrigerators or clothes washers. The combined firm’s market share fell across all four affected categories and the number of distinct appliance products fell.