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Merger Simulations of Unilateral Effects : What Can We Learn from the UK Brewing Industry?

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  • Slade, Margaret E.

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

I discuss the use of simulation techniques to evaluate unilateral effects of horizontal mergers and the pitfalls that one can encounter when using them. Simple econometric models are desirable because they can be implemented in a short period of time and can be understood by non experts. Unfortunately, their predictions are often misleading. Complex models are more reliable but they require more time to implement and are less transparent. The use of merger simulations and the sensitivity of predictions to modeling choices is illustrated with an application to mergers in the UK brewing industry. There have been a number of brewing mergers that have changed the structure of the UK market, as well as proposed but unconsummated mergers that would have had even more profound effects. I assess two of them: the successful merger between Scottish&Newcastle and Courage and the proposed merger between Bass and Carlsberg–Tetley.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 767.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:767

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Keywords: Unilateral effects; horizontal merger simulations; UK brewing;

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  1. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Quantifying the effects from horizontal mergers in European competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 669-691, December.
  2. David Sibley & Ken Heyer, 2003. "Selected Economic Analysis at the Antitrust Division: The Year in Review," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 95-119, September.
  3. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  4. Hausman, Jerry A. & Leonard, Gregory K., 2005. "Using merger simulation models: Testing the underlying assumptions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 693-698, December.
  5. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
  6. Lafontaine, Francine & Slade, Margaret, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries : The Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 799, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Roy J. Epstein & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2002. "Merger Simulation: A Simplified Approach with New Applications," Industrial Organization 0201002, EconWPA.
  8. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
  9. Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
  10. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Friberg, Richard & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2008. "Getting a Better Price: Strategic Behaviour before Changes in Ownership of Corporate Assets," Working Paper Series 777, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2008. "Merger Simulation in Competition Policy: A Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200807, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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