This article provides a retrospective of a litigated vertical merger: the 2018 AT&T/Time Warner merger, which was challenged by the US Department of Justice, litigated, and permitted to proceed by the court. We describe and evaluate in detail the economic model used by the government’s expert and then focus our empirical work on the accuracy of the predictions made by that model. We also discuss evidence related to the Comcast/NBC Universal merger, which involved the same theory of harm and was allowed to proceed with a remedy similar to the contractual commitment that AT&T/Time Warner unilaterally adopted. We conclude that the evidence from the time of trial showed the theory of harm to be weak and the specific empirical predictions made by the government’s expert to be wrong. Postmerger evidence confirms that conclusion, as does new evidence from the earlier Comcast/NBC Universal merger.
Carlton, Dennis W.; Giozov, Georgi V.; Israel, Mark A.; and Shampine, Allan L.
"A Retrospective Analysis of the AT&T/Time Warner Merger,"
Journal of Law and Economics: Vol. 65:
6, Article 6.
Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/jle/vol65/iss6/6