First, an introduction: on the first Wednesday of every month I and Lisa George from Hunter College organize an academic seminar in downtown NYC. The seminar is hosted by the Associated Press. The topic is media broadly defined. We tested the concept last year and it worked so we plan to continue. The line-up of speakers for this year can be seen here.
Today was the first talk by Przemyslaw Jeziorski, from Berkeley, Haas. The topic was the impact of the 1996 deregulation of radio station ownership caps on M&A activity. Fantastic paper, great data and careful methodology! The conclusions are also very interesting. Deregulation seems to have resulted in significant increases of social surplus (mostly reflected in higher radio revenues due to increased market power and presumably lower costs as a result of scale). Moreover, there is convincing evidence that simple rules (e.g. an owenership cap) work better as firm's can 'game' the regulator's more complex intentions.