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3 Antitrust L. & Econ. Rev. 25 (1969-1970)
Antitrust and the Merger-Wave Phenomenon: A Failure of Public Policy

handle is hein.journals/antlervi3 and id is 27 raw text is: ANTITRUST AND THE 'MERGER-WAVE'
PHENOMENON: A FAILURE OF PUBLIC POLICY
DR. SAMUEL R. REID*
Introduction
The Merger Problem
While corporate mergers are covered by a number of federal
statutes, particularly the Sherman Act (1890), the Clayton and
Federal Trade Commission Acts (1914), and the Celler-Kefauver
amendment of the Clayton Act (1950), and while there have in
fact been a number of merger cases brought by the antitrust agencies
in recent years (including a few of the so-called conglomerate
type), it would be a mistake to assume that the merger problem
either has been or is being adequately dealt with. On the contrary,
the current merger wave, the most massive in our history, rolls on
unabated, quite oblivious to these various statutory pronouncements;
the number and magnitude of the mergers recorded in 1968 ex-
ceeded those of any past year, and the merger activity during the
first half of 1969 was some 65% greater than that of the preceding
year's own unprecedented record. An examination of the data pre-
sented in Figure 1 and Table 1, below, should dispel any notion that
our various antitrust laws have been effective in curbing corporate
mergers.
Three Merger Movements
Indeed, it appears to be a curious fact of our economic life that
each of the country's major merger waves has followed the passage
* Dr. Reid is associate professor of finance, University of Illinois at
Chicago Circle. His published work includes The Conglomerate Merger:
A Special Case, 2 Antitrust Law & Economics Review 141 (Fall 1968), and
a recently published book, Mergers, Managers, and the Economy (New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1968).

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