Buyer Beware: Understanding Mergers and Antitrust

Jun 21, 2005Jun 23, 2005


Session One: Tuesday, June 21st
Ten Things You May Not Know About Antitrust 
Dr. Jerry Ellig

Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University 

Click Here to listen to audio archive. 

Session Two: Wednesday, June 22nd
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Control Antitrust, Regulation and Public Choice 
Dr. Peter Klein 

Associate Director
Contracting and Organizations Research Institute at the University of Missouri 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Antitrust laws are not new. In fact, they have been on the books for more than 100 years. Yet antitrust generates considerable debate when the federal government launches a high-profile prosecution or numerous large firms merge.

A new merger wave has hit the American economy as telecommunications, technology, consumer products, airlines, and sundry other firms explore new ways to combine and consolidate. Will these mergers lead to exciting new services and lower prices as businesses find new ways to innovate and lower costs? Or will mergers harm consumers by raising prices and diminishing incentives to innovate? Congress has already held hearings exploring the possible effects of some mergers. Antitrust officials and regulators will no doubt weigh these factors carefully in the coming months.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce a newly added three-day course on the economic framework for analyzing antitrust issues. Our faculty will address the following questions:

  • What is the main goal of antitrust laws? What is the legal process of antitrust? Is it effective?
  • What are the primary results of antitrust and economic regulation? Are there viable alternatives?
  • Why have we seen so many mergers recently? What do they mean for consumers? For the economy?
  • What are the principal sources of monopoly in the U.S. economy?
  • What role do political interests play in mergers and antitrust prosecutions?