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On the Desirability of an Efficiency Defense in Merger Control

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  • Heidhues, Paul
  • Lagerlöf, Johan N.M.

Abstract

We develop a model in which two firms that have proposed to merge are privately informed about merger-specific efficiencies. This enables the firms to influence the merger control procedure by strategically revealing their information to an antitrust authority. Although the information improves upon the quality of the authority’s decision, the influence activities may be detrimental to welfare if information processing/gathering is excessively costly. Whether this is the case depends on the merger control institution and, in particular, whether it involves an efficiency defense. We derive the optimal institution and provide conditions under which an efficiency defense is desirable. We also discuss the implications for antitrust policy and outline a three-step procedure that takes the influence activities into consideration.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3841.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3841

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Keywords: antitrust; asymmetric information; disclosure; efficiency gains; lobbying; rent seeking;

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References

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  1. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Economics Working Papers 8880, University of California at Berkeley.
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  13. Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1993. "Contested Mergers and Equilibrium Antitrust Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29, April.
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  17. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Johan Stennek & Frank Verboven, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  18. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
  19. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  20. Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
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