The impact of antitrust on competition
This project entails the collection of empirical metrics of merger outcomes in order to analyze effects beyond prices, taking into consideration other factors such as employment, innovation, and efficiencies. Scott Morton will collect empirical metrics of antitrust enforcement outcomes from publicly available data in company reports, earnings calls, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and from other sources such as industry analysts and consulting services in order to create a novel dataset. Information will be collected before and after a merger. Data will then be compared to the outcomes predicted by the merging firms. A second component of the research will examine the purposes and outcomes of acquisitions in the high-tech sector to determine whether acquisitions are motivated by increased efficiencies or by the elimination of competitors, a question that is largely unexplored. This line of inquiry seeks to test whether recent acquisitions have stifled innovation. This project is poised to make a considerable contribution to our understanding of the effects of mergers and acquisitions. Little evidence currently exists, resulting in a high burden on the agencies to justify challenges to proposed mergers and acquisitions.