Recent statements by the heads of the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice suggest that new merger guidelines may replace the tried-andtested consumer welfare standard with a series of alternate goals. Proponents of such a shift see a need to promote goals other than consumer welfare and believe the consumer welfare standard is inadequate to enforce against mergers resulting in certain types of harms. We disagree. Shifting away from the consumer welfare standard will necessarily harm consumers, resulting in higher prices and lower output. In contrast, sticking with the consumer welfare standard is not biased toward or against enforcement, is consistent with enforcement against a variety of types of harm (as reflected in the agencies’ recent enforcement decisions), and
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