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Assessing Horizontal Mergers under Uncertain Efficiency Gains

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  • Philippe Choné
  • Laurent Linnemer

Abstract

The analysis of horizontal mergers hinges on a tradeoff between unilateral effects and efficiency gains. The article examines the role of uncertainty (on the efficiency gains) in this tradeoff. Common wisdom is that the antitrust authorities should be very cautious about random gains. Our results show that dismissing efficiency gains on the sole ground that they are uncertain would not be theoretically founded. Indeed, the attitude towards uncertainty depends on the curvature of the social objective function. We exhibit a number of situations where the objective is convex in the efficiency gains, implying that competition authorities should welcome the risk for a given expectation of efficiency gains. Implications for empirical merger analysis are exposed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1726.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1726

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Keywords: merger analysis; antitrust; efficiency gains; uncertainty;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. AMIR, Rabah & DIAMANTOUDI, Effrosyni & XUE, Licun, 2003. "Merger performance under uncertain efficiency gains," CORE Discussion Papers 2003038, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Le Pape, Nicolas & Zhao, Kai, 2013. "Horizontal mergers and uncertainty," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-62, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Heijdra, B.J. & Ligthart, J.E., 2006. "Fiscal Policy, Monopolistic Competition and Finite Lives," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-199395, Tilburg University.
  4. Emilie Dargaud, 2013. "Horizontal mergers, efficiency gains and remedies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 349-372, October.
  5. Ding, Wei & Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2013. "Horizontal mergers with synergies: Cash vs. profit-share auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 382-391.

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