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Intra-firm Coordination and Horizontal Merger

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We look at an industry of Cournot oligopolists each of which consists of production facilities which enjoy some degree of freedom in deciding their output quantities and that way influence the total output of a firm. This structure can be motivated e.g. the existence of profit centers or by the specifics of a cooperative firm. The extent of coordination inside the firms is captured in a simple way, and market equilibrium is derived for potentially asymmetric firms using the concept of a replacement function. We use this model to address the question of profitability of horizontal mergers and of the welfare consequences of such mergers. Contrary to the standard literature, we find a wide range of potentially profitable mergers without having to refer to cost synergies. This result is driven by the effect of size in terms of the number of production facilities and by the strategic consequences of intra-firm decentralization. A number of seemingly conflicting results from the literature can be considered special cases of our model.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 269.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0269

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Keywords: merger; oligopoly; organization; vertical coordination;

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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2007. "Aggregative Public Good Games," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 201-219, 04.
  3. Cheung, Francis K., 1992. "Two remarks on the equilibrium analysis of horizontal merger," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 119-123, September.
  4. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1987. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," Discussion Papers 754, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Persson, Lars & Horn, Henrik, 1998. "Endogenous Mergers in Concentrated Markets," Working Paper Series 513, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Michael Higl, 2003. "Vertikale Kooperation im Oligopol Die Gestaltung der Genossenschaftsorganisation als strategischer Zug," Discussion Paper Series 243, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
  7. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 1999. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits, and Raise Share Prices," Working Paper Series 511, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 03 Dec 2001.
  8. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Nilssen, Tore & Sorgard, Lars, 1998. "Sequential horizontal mergers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1683-1702, November.
  10. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2005. "Hold-up of anti-competitive mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 753-775, December.
  11. Huck, Steffen & Konrad, Kai A. & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "Big fish eat small fish: on merger in Stackelberg markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 213-217, November.
  12. Svend Albæk & Christian Schultz, 1998. "On the relative advantage of cooperatives," CIE Discussion Papers 1998-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  13. Anthony Creane & Carl Davidson, 2004. "Multidivisional firms, internal competition, and the merger paradox," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 951-977, November.
  14. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  15. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-27, March.
  16. Dixit, Avinash K, 1986. "Comparative Statics for Oligopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 107-22, February.
  17. Ziss, Steffen, 2001. "Horizontal mergers and delegation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 471-492, March.
  18. Fershtman, Chaim, 1985. "Managerial incentives as a strategic variable in duopolistic environment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 245-253, June.
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