FTC Issues New Update of Horizontal Merger Investigation Data Report

Describes Transactions Occurring in Fiscal Years 1996-2007

For Release


To promote transparency in merger enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission today released its most recent staff update of horizontal merger investigations, describing transactions that took place between fiscal years 1996 and 2007. The update expands the coverage of mergers by adding two more years to the agency’s database.

The new data contain tabulated concentration levels associated with the FTC’s investigations in 1,154 markets over the 12-year period and reflect results from 210 merger investigations. 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 competitors. The number of “significant competitors” is defined relative to the competitive effects theory that was the most plausible basis for the investigation. Data on HHIs are available for 1,150 markets and data on “significant competitors” are presented for 925 markets.

For a subset of investigations – those with three or fewer markets – the FTC staff also retrieved information on whether or not Commission staff identified “hot documents” or “strong customer complaints”during the investigation. The staff tabulated the Commission’s enforcement decisions based on the presence or absence of these variables. Information for 198 markets is reviewed in the hot document tabulation, and data from 177 markets are tabulated in the strong customer complaint analysis.

Copies of the 2008 horizontal merger investigation update report, as well as the original report issued in 2004 and the updated report issued in 2007, can be found on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust@ftc.gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 383, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read “Competition Counts” at http://www.ftc.gov/competitioncounts.

(FTC File No. P035603)
(Horiz.Merger Data.2008.final.wpd)

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs