Combine and Conquer: How Antitrust Regulation Affects Mergers

Mar 18, 2008Mar 20, 2008

Event Video


Session One: Tuesday, March 4th
10 Things You Might Not Know About Antitrust

Dr. Jerry Ellig
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center

Session Two: Thursday, March 6th
The XM-Sirius Merger Debate
Dr. Thomas Hazlett
Professor of Law and Economics
George Mason University 

Two of the top business stories currently in the media relate to antitrust rulings. Microsoft was fined a record 1.3 billion dollars by the European Commission for defying a 2004 antitrust ruling. Meanwhile, the satellite radio operators Sirius and XM are still waiting to hear on the ruling for their request for the right to merge.

Antitrust regulation is meant to enhance competition in the marketplace and keep firms from abusing monopoly power. Regulators look for companies engaging in anticompetitive actions and prosecute them, as in the Microsoft Case, and, as exemplified in the Sirius and XM case, regulators work to evaluate industry mergers for monopolistic potential.

Many experts view antitrust regulation as a necessary tool in keeping markets competitive and advocate for more activist antitrust regulation, while the opposite perspective sees antitrust regulation as a tool used to further political and economic gains for political insiders. Most economists do agree that there are myriad benefits of competition, including lower prices, higher quality goods, and more innovation. With this in mind, regulators work to maximize consumer welfare and provide the ability for entrepreneurs to enter a market.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to host a two day course on the costs and benefits of antitrust regulation, as well as answer specific questions and concerns, such as: 

  • What is the main goal behind antitrust regulation?
  • Which aspects of antitrust regulations have been successful and why?
  • What are the economic implications behind the Sirius-XM merger debate?

Associated People