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Merger efficiency and welfare implications of buyer power

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Author Info

  • Özlem Bedre-Defolie

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Stéphane Caprice

    (Toulouse School of Economics)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-11-07.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-11-07

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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. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire, 2011. "Anti-competitive effects of resale-below-cost laws," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 373-385, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Roman Inderst & Christian Wey, 2003. "Buyer Power and Supplier Incentives," CIG Working Papers SP II 2003-05, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  4. Bonnet, Céline & Dubois, Pierre, 2008. "Inference on Vertical Contracts between Manufacturers and Retailers Allowing for Non Linear Pricing and Resale Price Maintenance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6918, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:ccp:journl:v:1:y:2001:i:3:p:247-281 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Chiara Fumagalli & Michele Polo, 2006. "Buyer Power and Quality Improvement," Working Papers 310, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. 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.
  10. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
  11. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1996. "Countervailing power revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 507-519, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
  14. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2008. "Buyer Power and the “Waterbed Effect”," CEIS Research Paper 107, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 10 Jul 2008.
  15. 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.
  16. 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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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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