Economics at the FTC: The Google-DoubleClick Merger, Resale Price Maintenance, Mortgage Disclosures, and Credit Scoring in Auto Insurance

Michael R. Baye, Matias Barenstein, Debra J. Holt, Pauline M. Ippolito, James M. Lacko, Jesse B. Leary, Janis K. Pappalardo, Paul A. Pautler, and Michael G. Vita

Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supports both the competition and consumer protection missions of the agency. In this year’s essay we discuss competition activity with a summary of our work on the Google-DoubleClick merger and recent activity on resale price maintenance, an area in which FTC economists had done significant prior research. On the consumer policy front, we discuss our study of ways to improve mortgage disclosures to facilitate consumer shopping and competition. Finally, we discuss our study of the effects of credit scoring on prices paid for auto insurance with a focus on the effects of scores on different racial and ethnic groups.