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Mergers, Asymmetries and Collusion: Experimental Evidence

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  • MiguelA. Fonseca
  • Hans-Theo Normann

Abstract

We analyse the impact of mergers in experimental Bertrand-Edgeworth oligopolies. Treatment variables are the number of firms (two, three) and the distribution of industry capacity (symmetric, asymmetric). Consistent with a dynamic collusion model, we find that, even though they are more concentrated, asymmetric markets exhibit lower prices than symmetric markets with the same number of firms. Consistent with the static Nash prediction, duopolies charge higher prices than triopolies when we control for (a)symmetry. The overall impact of a merger (which comprises both fewer firms and an asymmetry) is anti-competitive but the price increase is not significant. Copyright � 2008 The Author(s).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 527 (03)
Pages: 387-400

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:527:p:387-400

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Cited by:
  1. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.
  2. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion: The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," DICE Discussion Papers 65, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  3. Miguel A. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2013. "Excess Capacity and Pricing in Bertrand-Edgeworth Markets: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(2), pages 199-228, June.
  4. Mulder, Machiel & Haan, Marco A. & Dijkstra, Peter T., 2014. "Industry structure and collusion with uniform yardstick competition: theory and experiments," Research Report 14010-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  5. Kaplan, Todd & Ruffle, Bradley & Shtudiner, Zeev, 2013. "Waiting to Cooperate?," MPRA Paper 50096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Davies, Stephen & Olczak, Matthew & Coles, Heather, 2011. "Tacit collusion, firm asymmetries and numbers: Evidence from EC merger cases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 221-231, March.
  7. Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "Experimentelle Ökonomik für die Wettbewerbspolitik," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 06, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Roberto Hernan-Gonzalez & Praveen Kujal, 2013. "The Relative Efficacy of Price Announcements and Express Communication for Collusion: Experimental Findings," Working Papers 13-30, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  9. Andreas Nicklisch, 2008. "Semi-collusive advertising and pricing in experimental duopolies," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_25, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  10. Leufkens, Kasper & Peeters, Ronald, 2011. "Price dynamics and collusion under short-run price commitments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 134-153, January.
  11. Pedro Pita Barros & Diana Bonfim & Moshe Kim & Nuno C. Martins, 2010. "Counterfactual Analysis of Bank Mergers," Working Papers w201005, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  12. Li, Yan, 2011. "The competitive landscape of China’s telecommunications industry: Is there a need for further regulatory reform?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 125-133.
  13. Daniel Cracau & Benjamin Franz, 2012. "An experimental study of mixed strategy equilibria in simultaneous price-quantity games," FEMM Working Papers 120017, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.

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