FTC Issues Updated Horizontal Merger Investigation Data Report

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Analyzes Transactions Occurring in Fiscal Years 1996-2005

The Federal Trade Commission today released its most recent staff analysis of horizontal merger investigations, describing transactions that took place between fiscal years 1996 and 2005. The data provide an expansion of a February 2004 staff report (updated in August 2004) that described horizontal merger transactions occurring between fiscal years 1996 and 2003. The new data contain tabulated market share and concentration levels associated with the FTC’s investigations in 972 markets over a recent 10-year period. The data tabulations use the two market share concentration statistics described in the agency’s Horizontal Merger Guidelines – the post-merger Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and the change in the HHI, along with the number of significant rivals, and reflect 188 merger investigations in total.

For a subset of investigations – those with three or fewer markets – the FTC staff also retrieved information on whether or not “hot documents” or “strong consumer complaints” were identified during the investigation. The staff tabulated the Commission’s enforcement decisions based on the presence or absence of these variables. The results are presented in tabular format. In addition, the data discuss the number of “significant competitors” with regard to decisions to seek relief in horizontal merger investigations, defining the term relative to the competitive effects theory that was the most plausible basis for the investigation. Data on “significant competitors” are presented for 747 relevant markets.

Copies of the horizontal merger investigation update report, as well as a similar report for fiscal years 1996 to 2003 and a summary of merger challenges data for fiscal years 1999 to 2003, can be found on the FTC's Web site as a link to this release.

The Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, Electronic Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the FTC enforces, the Commission has published “Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws,” which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.shtm.


Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs

(FTC File No. P035603)

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