Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 4:44 PM

Response to the WSJ's Editorial Questioning My Ability To Purchase And Consume Beer

Authored by: Jason Hicks
"Do antitrust lawyers drink beer, or for that matter grocery shop?"  So began a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal.  The point of the editorial was that the DOJ should not stop Budweiser's maker, Anheuser-Busch, from purchasing Grupo Model, the manufacturer of Corona.  The editorial also wonders why antitrust lawyers bother doing the math necessary to measure industry concentration when they could instead just look at all of the different brands of beer for sale at the grocery store (never mind that many of the brands may be owned or distributed by the same company).  I readily admit that the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index seems overly complicated and has a funny sounding name.  But it seems a better measure than simply eye-balling the grocery store aisle.  Lastly, to answer the Wall Street Journal's initial question, yes there are antitrust lawyers who drink beer and shop at the grocery store.  If they happen to shop at the Whole Foods in Charlottesville, Virginia, then they can do both at the same time.  Now that's innovation! 

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