District of Columbia
Hearing #1 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century - Sept. 13-14 at Georgetown University Law Center
The Roosevelt Institute has reviewed the literature defining antitrust markets in various sectors and estimating concentration in markets so defined. We find that studies typically measure market concentration in antitrust markets to be in excess of the threshold for "highly concentrated" under the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines. This is relevant to the concentration hearings because the FTC itself has alleged that widely-publicized studies of concentration in the economy do not measure concentration in antitrust markets, but rather in industrial sectors. This is true--but when you look at antitrust markets, they too are concentrated. We hope that in future, the FTC will use its statutory power to measure concentration economy-wide, sector by sector, and in antitrust markets within sectors, rather than publicly castigating outside attempts to shed light on the issue. Our literature review and discussion of market definition for antitrust purposes and the relevance of concentration to other economic outcomes is discussed in the attached Issue Brief, which we submit as a public comment to the commission.