Unpacking the 2023 Revised Merger Guidelines: A Conversation With the U.S. Department of Justice

On this episode of Ruled by Reason, AAI President, Diana Moss, and AAI Vice President for Legal Advocacy, Kathleen Bradish talk with leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division about the newly released merger guidelines. Moss and Bradish are joined by Susan Athey, Chief Economist for the Antitrust Division and Michael Kades, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division. This is the 7th revision of the merger guidelines since they were first released by the antitrust agencies in 1968. The revisions are notable for many reasons, not the least of which is their timing, which comes at an inflection point in antitrust enforcement and competition policy. The draft guidelines address a number of growing concerns around consolidation, including high and rising concentration, high barriers to entry, and the emergence of dominant firms and tight oligopolies in key markets. The revised guidelines also take on issues not addressed head on by previous agency guidance, such as the effect of mergers on the loss of worker bargaining power, firm growth through “serial acquisitions,” the complexities of partial ownership and control, elimination of potential entrants, and the emergence of business models, such as digital ecosystems with multisided platforms. This episode unpacks these and other key takeaways from the draft merger guidelines.


Diana Moss, President, American Antitrust Institute
Kathleen Bradish, Vice President of Legal Advocacy, American Antitrust Institute


Susan Athey, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division
Michael Kades, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division

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