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Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries

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Author Info

  • Franco Mariuzzo

    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Patrick Paul Walsh

    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Ciara Whelan

    (University College of Dublin)

Abstract

Thresholds defined on the level and change in the HHI (Herfindahl- Hirschmann Index) applied to market shares seem to be the main instrument to select notified mergers for investigation in both the EU and US. We question the use of such a selection rule in differentiated products industries. We propose the use of a structural approach to apply HHI thresholds based on profit shares rather than market shares. We illustrate our point using product data for Retail Carbonated Soft Drinks (Price, Market Share and Characteristics). We estimate company (product) mark-ups consistent with a structural model of equilibrium, using demand primitives from a Nested Logit model and a Random Coefficient model. We provide an example where the HHI thresholds based on profit shares identify potentially damaging mergers not captured by applying thresholds to output shares, or conversely, identify mergers of no concern that would be selected on the basis of output shares.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2005/WP05.08.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200508.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 20 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200508

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Related research

Keywords: Market Shares; Market Power; Differentiated Products Industries; Merger Screening;

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References

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  1. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2003. "Firm Size and Market Power in Carbonated Soft Drinks," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 283-299, December.
  2. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
  3. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 68-105, February.
  4. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2005. "Embedding Consumer Taste for Location into a Structural Model of Equilibrium," Working Papers 200503, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-76, September.
  6. Nevo, Aviv, 1999. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt7cm5p858, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
  8. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Quantifying the Effects from Horizontal Mergers in European Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Walsh, Patrick Paul & Whelan, Ciara, 1999. "Modelling Price Dispersion as an Outcome of Competition in the Irish Grocery Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 325-43, September.
  10. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "A Practitioner's Guide to Estimation of Random-Coefficients Logit Models of Demand," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 513-548, December.
  11. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
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