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Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion?

Author

Listed:
  • Volker Nocke
  • Lucy White

Abstract

We investigate the impact of vertical mergers on upstream firms' ability to collude when selling to downstream firms in a repeated game. We show that vertical mergers give rise to an outlets effect: the deviation profits of cheating unintegrated firms are reduced as these firms can no longer profitably sell to the downstream affiliates of their integrated rivals. Vertical mergers also result in an opposing punishment effect: integrated firms typically make more profit in the punishment phase than unintegrated upstream firms. The net result of these effects in an unintegrated industry is to facilitate upstream collusion. We provide conditions under which further vertical integration also facilitates collusion. (JEL D43, G34, L12, L13)

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Nocke & Lucy White, 2007. "Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1321-1339, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:4:p:1321-1339
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.4.1321
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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