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Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of Ready-to-Eat Cereal

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  • Nevo, Aviv

Abstract

Traditional merger analysis, based on market definition and use of concentration measures to infer potential anti-competitive effects, is problematic and difficult to implement when evaluating mergers in industries with differentiated products. This paper discusses an alternative which consists of a front-end estimation of demand and back-end use of a model of post-merger conduct to simulate the competitive effects of a merger. I discuss and demonstrate the use of different methods of estimating demand. Furthermore, I show how the estimated demand parameters can be used to compute the post-merger price equilibrium (rather than just an approximation to it) and changes in welfare. The methodology is applied to two recent mergers and two hypothetical mergers in the ready-to-eat cereal industry. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of the model used in front-end estimation and the computation of equilibrium in determining the competitive effects of a merger.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series with number qt1d53t6ts.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:compol:qt1d53t6ts

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Keywords: Merger analysis; discrete choice models; random coefficients; product differentiation; ready-to-eat cereal industry;

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References

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  1. Gregory J. WERDEN, 1997. "Simulating The Effects Of Differentiated Products Mergers: A Practitioners' Guide," Department of Resource Economics Regional Research Project 967, University of Massachusetts.
  2. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, April.
  3. Aviv Nevo, 2003. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Microeconomics 0303006, EconWPA.
  4. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1975. "Transcendental Logarithmic Utility Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 367-83, June.
  5. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
  6. Chamberlain, Gary, 1982. "Multivariate regression models for panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-46, January.
  7. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  8. Nevo, Aviv, 1997. "Measuring Market Power Using Discrete Choice Models Of Demand: An Application To The Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Proceedings: Strategy and Policy in the Food System: Emerging Issues, June 20-21, 1996, Washington, D.C. 25944, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
  9. Hausman, J.A., 1994. "Valuation of New Goods Under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," Working papers 94-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Aviv Nevo, 1998. "A Research Assistant's Guide to Random Coefficients Discrete Choice Models of Demand," NBER Technical Working Papers 0221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Werden, G.J., 1992. "The History of Antitrust Market Delineation," Papers 92-8, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  12. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  13. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
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  17. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, July.
  18. Werden, Gregory J., 1997. "Simulating The Effects Of Differentiated Products Mergers: A Practitioners' Guide," Proceedings: Strategy and Policy in the Food System: Emerging Issues, June 20-21, 1996, Washington, D.C. 25942, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
  19. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  20. Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1993. "Some Applications and Limitations of Recent Advances in Empirical Industrial Organization: Merger Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 247-52, May.
  21. Baker, Jonathan B & Baresnahan, Timothy F, 1985. "The Gains from Merger or Collusion in Product-differentiated Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 427-44, June.
  22. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  23. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  24. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
  25. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2010. "Does the EU Sugar Policy Reform Increase Added Sugar Consumption? An Empirical Evidence on the Soft Drink Market," TSE Working Papers 10-197, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Christopher R. Knittel & Konstantinos Metaxoglou, 2008. "Estimation of Random Coefficient Demand Models: Challenges, Difficulties and Warnings," NBER Working Papers 14080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Aviv Nevo, 2003. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Microeconomics 0303006, EconWPA.
  4. Evelyn Vezza, 2004. "Poder de Mercado en las Profesiones Autorreguladas: El Desempeño Médico en Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0016, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  5. Evelyn Vezza, 2004. "Poder de Mercado en las Profesiones Autorreguladas: El Desempeño Médico en Argentina," Department of Economics, Working Papers 056, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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