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To merge or to license: implications for competition policy

  • Fauli-Oller, Ramon
  • Sandonis, Joel

The optimal competition policy when licensing is an alternative to a merger, which has the intention of transferring a superior technology, and is derived in a differentiated goods duopoly, as in the cases of Cournot and Bertrand competition. We show that whenever both royalties and fixed fees are feasible, mergers should not be allowed, which fits the prescription of the US Horizontal Merger Guidelines. In contrast, when only one instrument is feasible, be it fixed fees or royalties, the possibility of licensing cannot be used as a definitive argument against mergers.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 655-672

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:21:y:2003:i:5:p:655-672
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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  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. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & David Perez-Castrillo, J., 1996. "The role of information in licensing contract design," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-57, January.
  4. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-27, March.
  5. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  6. Kamien, Morton I & Tauman, Yair, 1986. "Fees versus Royalties and the Private Value of a Patent," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 471-91, August.
  7. Muto Shigeo, 1993. "On Licensing Policies in Bertrand Competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 257-267, April.
  8. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "How to License Intangible Property," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 567-89, August.
  9. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  10. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
  11. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  12. Tarun Khanna & Bharat N. Anand, 1996. "Intellectual Property Rights and Contract Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm37, Yale School of Management.
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