By Ana Sofia Rodrigues

Recent years have been marked by a renewed interest in vertical mergers. The highest profile case was the AT&T/Time Warner deal. Judicial decisions on the case, both the District Court’s (June 2018) and the Court of Appeals (February 2019) question the adequacy of bargaining models and the lack of real-world data to inform the assessment. This article explores these aspects having as a backdrop two vertical media mergers that were not allowed to go through by the Autoridade da Concorrência – the Altice/Media Capital and the Sport TV mergers. The first, illustrates how the robustness of the assessment is strengthened by vertical arithmetic and bargaining models fed with accurate estimates for key payoff components. The second, is illustrative of how vertical mergers may give rise to concerns due to coordinated effects. Furthermore, we argue for ex post analysis of recent vertical media merger decisions to shed light on the debate.

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