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Merger Efficiency and Welfare Implications of Buyer Power

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  • Özlem Bedre-Defolie
  • Stéphane Caprice

Abstract

This paper analyzes the welfare implications of buyer mergers, which are mergers between downstream firms from different markets. We focus on the interaction between the merger's effects on downstream efficiency and on buyer power in a setup where one manufacturer with a non-linear cost function sells to two locally competitive retail markets. We show that size discounts for the merged entity has no impact on consumer prices or on smaller retailers, unless the merger affects the downstream efficiency of the merging parties. When the upstream cost function is convex, we find that there are "waterbed effects", that is, each small retailer pays a higher average tariff if a buyer merger improves downstream efficiency. We obtain the opposite results, "anti-waterbed effects", if the merger is inefficient. When the cost function is concave, there are only anti-waterbed effects. In each retail market, the merger decreases the final price if and only if it improves the efficiency of the merging parties, regardless of its impact on the average tariff of small retailers.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.376774.de/dp1144.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1144.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1144

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Keywords: Buyer mergers; non-linear supply contracts; merger efficiencies; size discounts; waterbed effects;

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References

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  1. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  2. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
  3. Céline Bonnet & Pierre Dubois, 2010. "Inference on vertical contracts between manufacturers and retailers allowing for nonlinear pricing and resale price maintenance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 139-164.
  4. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2007. "Buyer power and supplier incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 647-667, April.
  5. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle, 2011. "Anti-Competitive Effects of resale-Below-Cost Laws," Post-Print hal-00367492, HAL.
  6. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Fumagalli, Chiara & Polo, Michele, 2007. "Buyer power and quality improvements," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 45-61, June.
  7. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
  8. repec:ccp:journl:v:1:y:2001:i:3:p:247-281 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Stéphane Caprice & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Competition Policy and Concentration of a Globalized Retail Industry," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 54(3), pages 183-202.
  10. Bolton, Patrick & Dewatripont, Mathias, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-39, November.
  11. Roberto A. Weber & Colin F. Camerer, 2003. "Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 400-415, April.
  12. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
  13. Smith, Howard & Thanassoulis, John, 2012. "Upstream uncertainty and countervailing power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 483-495.
  14. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1996. "Countervailing power revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 507-519, June.
  15. Paul Dobson & Roger Clarke & Stephen Davies & Michael Waterson, 2001. "Buyer Power and its Impact on Competition in the Food Retail Distribution Sector of the European Union," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 247-281, September.
  16. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2011. "Buyer Power And The ‘Waterbed Effect’," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-20, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Smith, Howard & Thanassoulis, John, 2012. "Upstream uncertainty and countervailing power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 483-495.

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