Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 607–623 | Cite as

Economics at the FTC: Quantitative Analyses of Two Chemical Manufacturing Mergers

  • Daniel Greenfield
  • Bruce Kobayashi
  • Jeremy SandfordEmail author
  • Christopher Taylor
  • Nathan Wilson


Economists at the Federal Trade Commission support the agency’s competition and consumer protection missions in numerous ways. In this article, we discuss the economic analyses that were conducted in connection with two Commission antitrust investigations: The first involved a merger of manufacturers of titanium dioxide, which is an intermediate good used in the manufacture of paints, plastics, and other final goods. This article highlights the analysis that the FTC economists performed relating to techniques used to define the relevant product market as well as to analyze the impact of the merger with a Cournot model. The second investigation also involved a merger of manufacturers of an intermediate product—polyethylene terephthalate resin—which is a plastic that is used to manufacture bottles and food packaging. We highlight here the consideration that FTC economists gave to an argument that one of the manufacturers was a failing firm—which, if true, may imply that the merger would not reduce competition relative to the counterfactual in which one firm would exit the market.


Antitrust Failing firm FTC Market definition Mergers 



We thank Dave Schmidt and Mike Vita for helpful comments. The views that are expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Federal Trade Commission or any of the individual Commissioners.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Greenfield
    • 1
  • Bruce Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Jeremy Sandford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher Taylor
    • 1
  • Nathan Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Trade CommissionBureau of EconomicsWashington, DCUSA

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