Merger Antitrust Law (2024)

IN process: New Materials will be posted as they are finalized

IMPORTANT: all posted materials are tentative and subject to revision until august 1, 2024

 

 

Dale Collins
Georgetown University Law Center

NB: "±" indicates that the hyperlink will take you to another site.

Home page

 

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This page contains the memorandum introducing the course, class schedule, reading materials, and class notes for the Merger Antitrust Law course taught during the 2023 fall semester at Georgetown. It also contains links to related supplemental materials on the Applied Antitrust web site. There is no textbook for this course. Everything you need will be linked to this page.

Introduction and "Rules of the Road" Memorandum (revised July 9, 2024)
TENTATIVE Class schedule 0.1 (revised July 8, 2024)
Cumulative class slide deck

DOJ/FTC Merger Guidelines (rev. Dec. 18, 2023)
DOJ/FTC Horizontal Merger Guidelines (rev. Aug. 19, 2010; superseded Dec. 18, 2023


 
 
Required Reading
Comments and Optional Reading

Unit 1

Merger Antitrust Law: TransDigm/Takata

 

Class 1

Tuesday, August 27

Introduction to course
TransDigm/Takata

DOJ/FTC 2023 Merger Guidelines

Introduction and "Rules of the Road" Memorandum

Class schedule

Class 1 reading guidance

Unit 1 reading materials

Merger Antitrust Law: Introduction to Substance and Process (class notes)

Class 1 homework assignment (optional in the first week)

 

 

 

 

TransDigm/Takata case study (complete)

Note on Antitrust Hornbooks and Other Study Aids

Demand curves and consumer surplus (YouTube videos):

Marginal Revolution University, The Demand Curve

Marginal Revolution University, A Deeper Look at the Demand Curve

Marginal Revolution University, What Is Consumer Surplus?

Marginal Revolution University, What Is Producer Surplus?

Marginal Revolution University, What Is Deadweight Loss?

Deadweight Loss- Key Graphs of Microeconomics

Consumer welfare and alternative goals of antitrust law

± Stigler Center, Defining the Consumer Welfare Standard (Apr. 20, 2023)

± ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Is Consumer Welfare In Hot Water? (Sep't 9, 2022) (YouTube) (transcript)

Twombly/Iqbal

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)

Unit 2

Predicting Merger Antitrust Enforcement Challenges

 

Class 2

Thursday, August 29

Predicting merger antitrust enforcement challenges
Advising clients at the first client meeting

DOJ/FTC 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines

 

Class 2 reading guidance

Unit 2 reading materials

Predicting Merger Antitrust Enforcement Challenges (class notes)

Class 2 homework assignment (optional in the first week)

 

 

Changes in antitrust enforcement policy

Lina M. Khan, Chair. Fed. Trade Comm'n, Remarks As Prepared for Delivery Economic Club of New York, New York, NY (July 24, 2023),

± Oversight of Federal Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws, Hearing before the Subcomm. on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary (Sept. 20, 2022) (video)

Jonathan Kanter. Ass't Att'y Gen., Antitrust Div., U.S. Dep't of Justice (prepared statement)
Lina Khan, Chair, Fed. Trade Comm'n (prepared statement)

Lina M. Khan, Chair. Fed. Trade Comm'n, Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Fordham Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law & Policy, New York, NY (Sept. 16, 2022)

Jonathan Kanter, Ass't Att'y Gen. Antitrust Div., U.S. Dep't of Justice, Respecting the Antitrust Laws and Reflecting Market Realities, Prepared Remarks Before the Georgetown Antitrust Law Symposium, Washington, DC (Sept. 13, 2022)

Noah Joshua Phillips, Comm'nr, Fed. Trade Comm'n, Disparate Impact: Winners And Losers From The New M&A Policy, Prepared Remarks Before the Eighth Annual Berkeley Spring Forum on M&A and the Boardroom, San Francisco, CA (Apr. 27, 2022)

± Jeffrey T. Macher, John W. Mayo, David Sappington & Mark Whitener, The Evolution of Judicial Standards: Evidence from Litigated Merger Trials (Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper No. 3809174, June 5, 2022).

Logan Billman & Steven C. Salop, Merger Enforcement Statistics: 2001-2020 (Nov. 4, 2022)

The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Evolution of the Merger Guidelines (not yet updated to include the 2023 Draft DOJ/FTC Draft Merger Gudielines)

± Carl Shapiro & Howard Shelanski, Judicial Response to the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, 58 Rev. Indus. Org. 51 (2021)

± Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines After 10 Years, 58 Rev. Indus. Org. 1 (2021)

± Carl Shapiro, The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines: From Hedgehog to Fox in Forty Years, 77 Antitrust 701 (2010).

2022-23 Merger Guidelines revision project

Press Release, U.S. Dept. of Justice & Fed. Trade Comm'n, Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission Seek to Strengthen Enforcement Against Illegal Mergers (Jan. 18, 2022)

Press Release, Fed. Trade Comm'n, FTC and DOJ Seek Comment on Draft Merger Guidelines (July 19, 2023)

Press Release, U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Department and FTC Seek Comment on Draft Merger Guidelines (July 19, 2023)

U.S. Dep’t of Justice & Fed. Trade Comm’n, Draft Merger Guidelines (July 19, 2023)

U.S. Dep’t of Justice & Fed. Trade Comm’n, Fact Sheet–2023 Draft Merger Guidelines for Public Comment (July 19, 2023)

Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya Regarding FTC-DOJ Proposed Merger Guidelines (July 19, 2023)

Statement of Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Joined by Chair Lina M. Khan and Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya Regarding FTC-DOJ Proposed Merger Guidelines (July 19, 2023)

Statement of Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya Joined by Chair Lina M. Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Regarding the Proposed Merger Guidelines Issued by the Federal Trade Commission & U.S. Department of Justice (July 19, 2023)

+ FTC web page (collecting public comments)

Unit 3

Some Merger Antitrust History

 

Class 3

Tuesday, September 3

Class 3 reading guidance

Unit 3 reading materials

A Brief History of Antitrust Law (class notes)

 

Commentary

± Herbert Hovenkamp, The Slogans and Goals of Antitrust Law (June 14, 2022).

Dale Collins, Antitrust on the Brink: The Calls for Radical Reform, Presentation to the Antitrust Law Association (Sept. 16, 2021) (slides)

Christine S. Wilson, Comm'r, Fed. Trade Comm'n, The Neo-Brandeisian Revolution: Unforced Errors and the Diminution of the FTC, Prepared Remarks for the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s 2021 Fall Forum (Nov. 9, 2021)

± Herbert Hovenkamp & Fiona Scott Morton, Framing the Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis, 168 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1843 (2020)

± Carl Shapiro, Antitrust in a Time of Populism, 61 Int'l J. Indus. Org. 714 (2018).


Withdrawal of FTC 2015 Section 5 Policy Statement

Fed. Trade Comm'n, Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding “Unfair Methods of Competition” Under Section 5 of the FTC Act (2015)

FTC video of July 1, 2021, open meeting (excerpts of Section 5 Policy Statement discussion)

NB: This is a very large file that needs to be downloaded before it can be played. Alternatively, go to the complete streaming version on the FTC web page, listen to the introduction up to the first issue and then skip to around 43:20

Congressional testimony

Oversight of Federal Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Competition Policy, Antitrust & Consumer Rights of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 117th Cong. (Sept. 20, 2022) (statement of the Federal Trade Commission)

Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson, Federal Trade Commission (Sept. 20, 2022)

 

2022 FTC Section 5 Policy Statement

Policy Statement Regarding the Scope of Unfair Methods of Competition Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (Nov. 10, 2022) (3-1 vote)

Press Release, Fed. Trade Comm'n, FTC Restores Rigorous Enforcement of Law Banning Unfair Methods of Competition (Nov. 10, 2022)

Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya (Nov. 10, 2022)

Statement of Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya, Joined by Chair Lina M. Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter (Nov. 10, 2022)

Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson (Nov. 10, 2022)

Unit 4

The DOJ/FTC Merger Review Process

 

Class 4

Thursday, September 5

 

 

 

 


Unit 5

Merger Antitrust Settlements

For additional supplemental materials, see 13. DOJ/FTC Merger Review and Settlement Procedures in AppliedAntitrust.com

Class 5

Tuesday, September 10

Settlements

Kroger/Albertsons

 

 

 

Unit 6

Merger Antitrust Litigation

 

For additional supplemental materials, see 14. Merger Antitrust Litigation in AppliedAntitrust.com

Class 6

Thursday, September 12

Litigating merger antitrust cases

ABI/Grupo Modelo

 

 

Unit 7

Hertz/Avis Budget/Dollar Thrifty

 

For additional supplemental materials, see 13. DOJ/FTC Merger Review and Settlement Procedures in AppliedAntitrust.com

Class 7

Tuesday, September 17

The 2010 Hertz/Dollar Thrifty deal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class 8

Thursday, September 19

Antitrust risk-shifting in the merger agreement

The bidding war with Avis
FTC review and settlement
Aftermath

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 8

Competition Economics


Class 9

Tuesday, September 24
Part 1. Demand, Costs, and
Profit-Maximization

 

 

 

 

Class 10

Thursday, September 26

Part 2. Markets and Market Equilibrium

Substitutes, complements, and elasticities

Perfectly competitive markets

Perfectly monopolized markets

Imperfectly competitive markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPTIONAL
REVIEW

Friday, September 27


Optional economics review session

 

Unit 9

H&R Block/TaxACT

 


Class 11

Tuesday, October 1

Analysis of the district court opinion

Institutional setting

Market definition: (Brown Shoe factors)

Introduction to the hypothetical monopolist test

 

 

Class 12

Thursday, October 3

Analysis of the district court opinion

Market definition (critical loss tests)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class 13

Tuesday, October 8

Analysis of the district court opinion

Market definition (diversion ratio tests)

 

 

 

Class 14

Thursday, October 10

Analysis of the district court opinion

PNB presumption

Ease of entry defense

Coordinated effects

Elimination of a "maverick"

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 15

LEGISLATIVE MONDAY

NO CLASS

 

Class 15

Thursday, October 17

Analysis of the district court opinion

Recapture unilateral effects

Efficiencies defense

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 10

U.S. Sugar/Imperial Sugar

 

Class 16

Tuesday, October 22

Analysis of the district court opinion

Product markets

Geographic markets


 

 

 

Unit 11

Sysco/U.S. Foods

 

 

Class 17

Thursday, October 24

Analysis of the district court opinion

Cluster markets

Targeted customer markets

Auction theory of unilateral effects

Power buyer defense

 

 

Unit 12

Case Study Problem: Ice Cream Merger


Class 18

Tuesday, October 29

Review of the Class 18 homework assignment

 

 

 

Class 19

Tuesday, October 29

Continue analysis of Class 18 homework assignment

 

 

 

 

Unit 13

Staples/Office Depot

 

Class 20

Tuesday, November 5

Analysis of the district court opinion

 

 

 

Unit 14

Potential Competition Mergers

 

Class 21

Thursday, November 7

Milan/Perrigo

Medtronic/Covidien

Mallinckrodt (Questcor)/Novartis)

Steris/Synergy Health

Meta/Within

 

 

 

OPTIONAL
REVIEW

Friday, November 8

 

 

 

 

Unit 15

Vertical Mergers

 

 

Class 22

Tuesday, November 12

General Electric/Avio

Comcast/NBCUniversal

AT&T/Time Warner

 

 

Class 23

Thursday, November 14

AT&T/Time Warner (con't)

 

 

 

 

Class 24

Tuesday, November 19

AT&T/Time Warner (con't)

Coca-Cola/Coca-Cola Enterprises

 

 

 

Monday, November 20

GRADED HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT DUE BY 8:00 PM

 

Unit 16

Graded Homework Assignment

 

Class 25

Thursday, November 21

Analysis of district court opinion

 

 

 

Unit 17

UnitedHealth/Change Healthcare

 

Class 26

Tuesday, November 26

Analysis of district court opinion

 

 

 

 

 

Final Review Session (optional)

 

OPTIONAL
REVIEW

Wednesday, December 4

 

OPTIONAL review session

 

FINAL EXAM

 

 

 

Friday, December 6 (8:30 AM) –
Friday, December 13 (6:30 PM)
[Times to be confirmed]

5-hour
Open book
Take home

Instructions for the 2023 exam
(Approved by the Registrar's Office)

NB: Some exams in the past have included two merger hypotheticals. This year the exam will contain only one hypothetical.