Economics at the FTC: Mergers, Dominant-Firm Conduct, and Consumer Behavior

Joseph Farrell, Janis K. Pappalardo, and Howard Shelanski

Economists at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursue the agency'’s competition and consumer protection missions. In this year'’s essay, in antitrust, we discuss the new Merger Guidelines, three exclusion cases, and R&D issues in the Thoratec/HeartWare merger and the Google/AdMob merger. In consumer protection, we discuss the FTC'’s new rule on debt settlement, our efforts to improve disclosures, and our recent work on appliance energy disclosures.