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Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers: An Economic Alternative to Market Definition

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  • Farrell Joseph

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Shapiro Carl

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

We describe a simple initial indicator of whether a proposed merger between rivals in a differentiated product industry is likely to raise prices through unilateral effects. Our diagnostic calibrates upward pricing pressure (UPP) resulting from the merger, based on the price/cost margins of the merging firms' products and the extent of direct substitution between them. As a screen for likely unilateral effects, this approach is practical, more transparent, and better grounded in economics than are concentration-based methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-41

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:9

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References

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  1. Goppelsroeder, M. & Schinkel, M.P. & Tuinstra, J., 2006. "Quantifying the Scope for Efficiency Defense in Merger Control: The Werden-Froeb-Index," CeNDEF Working Papers 06-09, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
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  3. Nocke, Volker & Whinston, Michael, 2008. "Dynamic Merger Review," CEPR Discussion Papers 7077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  5. Edlin, Aaron S. & Farrell, Joseph, 2002. "The American Airlines Case: A Chance to Clarify Predation Policy," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt32h8b40m, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Dennis W. Carlton, 2007. "The Need to Measure the Effect of Merger Policy and How to Do It," EAG Discussions Papers 200715, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  7. Schmalensee, Richard., 1987. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Working papers 1874-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Werden, G.J., 1992. "The History of Antitrust Market Delineation," Papers 92-8, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  9. Federico Echenique., 2000. "Comparative Statics by Adaptive Dynamics and The Correspondence Principle," Economics Working Papers E00-273, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2008. "Merger Simulation in Competition Policy: A Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200807, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  11. Werden, Gregory J, 1996. "A Robust Test for Consumer Welfare Enhancing Mergers among Sellers of Differentiated Products," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 409-13, December.
  12. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  13. Werden, G.J., 1996. "A Robust Test for Consumer Welfare Enhancing Mergers Among Sellers of Differentiated Products," Papers 96-01, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  14. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  15. Froeb, Luke & Tschantz, Steven & Werden, Gregory J., 2005. "Pass-through rates and the price effects of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 703-715, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Joseph Farrell & Paul Pautler & Michael Vita, 2009. "Economics at the FTC: Retrospective Merger Analysis with a Focus on Hospitals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 369-385, December.
  2. Louis Kaplow, 2011. "Market Definition and the Merger Guidelines," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 107-125, August.
  3. Mathiesen, Lars & Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Sørgard, Lars, 2011. "Merger simulations with observed diversion ratios," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 83-91, June.
  4. Wayne-Roy Gayle & Robert Marshall & Leslie Marx & Jean-François Richard, 2011. "Coordinated Effects in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 39-56, August.
  5. Evan Kwerel & Paul LaFontaine & Marius Schwartz, 2012. "Economics at the FCC, 2011–2012: Spectrum Incentive Auctions, Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation Reform, and Mergers," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 271-302, December.
  6. Lawrence J. White, 2013. "Monopoly and Dominant Firms: Antitrust Economics and Policy Approaches," Working Papers 13-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Davis, Peter, 2011. "On the role of empirical industrial organization in competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 323-328, May.
  8. Niu, Shuai, 2013. "The equivalence of profit-sharing licensing and per-unit royalty licensing," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 10-14.
  9. Daljord, Øystein & Sørgard, Lars, 2011. "Single-product versus uniform SSNIPs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 142-146, June.
  10. Oliver Budzinski & Björn A. Kuchinke, 2012. "Deal or No Deal? Consensual Arrangements as an Instrument of European Competition Policy," Review of Economics, , vol. 63(3), pages 265-292.
  11. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Impact evaluation of merger control decisions," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 75, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  12. Pereira, Pedro & Ribeiro, Tiago & Vareda, João, 2013. "Delineating markets for bundles with consumer level data: The case of triple-play," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 760-773.
  13. Robert Willig, 2011. "Unilateral Competitive Effects of Mergers: Upward Pricing Pressure, Product Quality, and Other Extensions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 19-38, August.
  14. E. Glen Weyl & Michal Fabinger, 2013. "Pass-Through as an Economic Tool: Principles of Incidence under Imperfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 528 - 583.
  15. Judd Stone & Joshua Wright, 2011. "The Sound of One Hand Clapping: The 2010 Merger Guidelines and the Challenge of Judicial Adoption," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 145-158, August.
  16. E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "A Price Theory of Multi-sided Platforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1642-72, September.
  17. Richard Schmalensee, 2012. "“On a Level with Dentists?” Reflections on the Evolution of Industrial Organization," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 157-179, November.
  18. Herbert Hovenkamp, 2011. "Harm to Competition Under the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 3-18, August.

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