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Compulsory or voluntary pre-merger notification? Theory and some evidence

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  • Choe, Chongwoo
  • Shekhar, Chander

Abstract

We compare the prevailing system of compulsory pre-merger notification with the Australian system of voluntary pre-merger notification. It is shown that, for a non-trivial set of parameter values, a perfect Bayesian equilibrium exists in mixed strategies in which the regulator investigates un-notified mergers with probability less than one and the parties choose notification with probability less than one. Thanks to the signaling opportunity that arises when notification is voluntary, voluntary notification leads to lower enforcement costs for the regulator and lower notification costs for the merging parties. Some of the theoretical predictions are supported by exploratory empirical tests using merger data from Australia. Overall, our results suggest that voluntary merger notification may achieve objectives similar to those achieved by compulsory systems at lower costs to the merging parties as well as to the regulator.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 10-20

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:10-20

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Merger regulation Pre-merger notification Abnormal returns;

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References

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  1. Damien J. NEVEN & Lars-Hendrik RÖLLER, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.24, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Allan Fels & Jill Walker, 1994. "Merger Policy and Practice," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 27(4), pages 96-100.
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  5. Chander Shekhar & Philip L. Williams, 2004. "Should the Pre-Notification of Mergers Be Compulsory in Australia?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(4), pages 383-390, December.
  6. Philip L. Williams & Graeme Woodbridge, 2004. "Antitrust Merger Policy: Lessons from the Australian Experience," NBER Chapters, in: Governance, Regulation, and Privatization in the Asia-Pacific Region, NBER East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 12, pages 35-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Johan N. M. Lagerlöf & Paul Heidhues, 2004. "On the Desirability of an Efficiency Defense in Merger Control," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/24, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Oct 2004.
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  10. Brady, Una & M. Feinberg, Robert, 2000. "An examination of stock-price effects of EU merger control policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 885-900, August.
  11. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Antitrust Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 408-25, June.
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  13. Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1985. "Using daily stock returns : The case of event studies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-31, March.
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  15. Verena Hahn, 2000. "Antitrust Enforcement: Abuse Control or Notification?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 69-91, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreea Cosnita-Langlais & Jean-Philippe Tropeano, 2013. "Ex post or ex ante? On the optimal timing of merger control," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-22, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  2. Gonzalez, Aldo & Benitez, Daniel, 2009. "Optimal pre-merger notification mechanisms - incentives and efficiency of mandatory and voluntary schemes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4936, The World Bank.

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