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Failing Firm Defence With Entry Deterrence


  • Alessandro Fedele
  • Massimo Tognoni


Under the principle of the Failing Firm Defense (FFD) a merger that would be blocked due to its harmful effect on competition could be nevertheless allowed when (i) the acquired firm is actually failing, (ii) there is no less anti-competitive alternative offer of purchase, (iii) absent the merger, the assets to be acquired would exit the market. We focus on potential anti-competitive effects of a myopic application of the third requirement by studying consequences of a horizontal merger on entry in a Cournot oligopoly with a failing firm. If the merger is blocked entry occurs and, when the industry is highly concentrated, consumer welfare is bigger because gains due to augmented competition exceed losses due to shortage of output.
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Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Fedele & Massimo Tognoni, 2010. "Failing Firm Defence With Entry Deterrence," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 365-386, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:62:y:2010:i:4:p:365-386

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
    2. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, March.
    3. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    4. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    5. Motta, Massimo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2005. "Efficiency gains and myopic antitrust authority in a dynamic merger game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 777-801, December.
    6. Mason, Robin & Weeds, Helen, 2002. "The Failing Firm Defence: Merger Policy and Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 3664, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lars Persson, 2005. "The Failing Firm Defense," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 175-201, June.
    8. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-227, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Franck & Nicolas Le Pape, 2010. "Bankruptcy Risk, Product Market Competition and Horizontal Mergers," Working Papers halshs-00812086, HAL.
    2. Beschorner, Patrick Frank Ernst, 2008. "Do Consumers Benefit from Concentration in the New Economy? A Review of Google's Mergers, Acquisitions, and Arrangements," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-121, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices


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