Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Merger Theory and Evidence: The Baby-Food Case Reconsidered

Contents:

Author Info

  • Richard Dagen
  • Daniel Richards

Abstract

The Federal Trade Commission’s successful challenge to the proposed merger of Heinz and Beech-Nut baby food operations in 2001 remains a controversial case that raises concern over the role of cost efficiencies in merger analysis. Although the FTC argued that the merger would result in an increased likelihood of coordinated effects, we develop an alternative explanation for why the merger was likely to harm consumers even in the absence of such cooperation. We show that a conventional model of vertical product differentiation is able to replicate the premerger market data. Vertical product differentiation assumes that consumers agree on the relative quality of different products, which seems to describe the baby food market. When the model is then used to determine potential post-merger outcomes, we find that only using the most favorable assumptions for Heinz, would the claimed cost-efficiencies have been passed on to consumers. Under any more conservative and realistic scenarios, consumer prices rise substantially. The analysis supports the decision to oppose the merger. It also raises some doubt about the merit of cost efficiencies as a merger defense when an industry is characterized by vertical product differentiation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200602.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0602.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0602

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Medford, MA 02155, USA
Phone: (617) 627-3560
Fax: (617) 627-3917
Web page: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ

Related research

Keywords:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Roy J. Epstein & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2002. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Industrial Organization 0201002, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  5. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  6. Epstein, Roy J. & Rubinfeld, Daniel, 2001. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1c65s24r, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Rubinfeld, Daniel L. & Epstein, Roy J., 2001. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt2sq9s8c8, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Epstein, Roy J. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2001. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9jt389nb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. George Norman & Lynne Pepall & Daniel Richards, 2002. "Product Differentiation, Cost-Reducing Mergers, and Consumer Welfare," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0214, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  10. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  11. Lawrence J. White, 2003. "Antitrust during the Clinton Administration: An Assessment," Working Papers 03-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Epstein, Roy J. & Rubinfeld, Daniel, 2012. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2k9116ph, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Vlad Mares & Mikhael Shor, 2013. "Information concentration in common value environments," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 183-203, September.
  2. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2006. "Value-Added Tax," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0608, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Vlad Mares & Mikhael Shor, 2008. "Information Concentration in Common Value Environments," Working papers 2012-23, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0602. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Kalogeropoulos).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.