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Trade Liberalization and the Profitability of Domestic Mergers

  • Gérard Gaudet
  • Rams Kanouni

It is often thought that a tariff reduction, by opening-up the domestic market to foreign firms, should lessen the need for a policy aimed at discouraging domestic mergers. This implicitly assumes that the tariff in question is sufficiently high to prevent foreign firms from selling in the domestic market. However, not all tariffs are prohibitive, so that foreign firms may be present in the domestic market before it is abolished. Furthermore, even if the tariff is prohibitive, a merger of domestic firms may render it nonprohibitive, thus inviting foreign firms to penetrate the domestic market. Using a simple example, the authors show that, in the latter two cases, abolishing the tariff may in fact make the domestic merger more profitable. Hence trade liberalization will not necessarily reduce the profitability of domestic mergers. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 353-358

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:12:y:2004:i:3:p:353-358
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  1. Horn, Henrik & Levinsohn, James A, 2000. "Merger Policies And Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  3. David R. Collie, 2003. "Mergers and Trade Policy under Oligopoly," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 55-71, February.
  4. Kamien, Morton I & Zang, Israel, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-99, May.
  5. Barros, Pedro P. & Cabral, Luis, 1994. "Merger policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1041-1055, May.
  6. Ross, Thomas W., 1988. "On the price effects of mergers with freer trade," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 233-246.
  7. Rod Falvey, 1998. "Mergers in Open Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(8), pages 1061-1076, November.
  8. Long, Ngo Van & Vousden, Neil, 1995. "The Effects of Trade Liberalization on Cost-Reducing Horizontal Mergers," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 141-55, June.
  9. Gaudet, Gerard & Salant, Stephen W, 1991. "Increasing the Profits of a Subset of Firms in Oligopoly Models with Strategic Substitutes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 658-65, June.
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