Merger Analysis in the Courts

Malcolm B. Coate
Working Paper:

This paper presents an analysis of the merger decisions between 1982-1992. The survey of cases suggests that the plaintiffs win roughly half the time. Plaintiffs were no more likely to win if a case was heard by a judicial panel dominated by Republican than Democratic appointees. In addition, the plaintiffs were no more likely to win in the second half of the decade than in the first half of the period. Further analysis suggests that barriers to entry and various competitive factors supplement the Herfindahl statistic in predicting the outcome of the case. Additional models link barrier and competitive conditions findings to exogenous factors such as the DOJ as a plaintiff and the filing for a preliminary injunction.