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On the desirability of an efficiency defense in merger control

  • Lagerlof, Johan N.M.
  • Heidhues, Paul

We develop a model in which two firms that have proposed to merge are privately informed about merger-specific efficiencies. This enables the firms to influence the merger control procedure by strategically revealing their information to an antitrust authority. Although the information improves upon the quality of the authority's decision, the influence activities may be detrimental to welfare if information processing/gathering is excessively costly. Whether this is the case depends on the merger control institution and, in particular, whether it involves an efficiency defense. We derive the optimal institution and provide conditions under which an efficiency defense is desirable. We also discuss the implications for antitrust policy and outline a three-step procedure that take the influence activities into consideration. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Wann ist eine Effizienzverteidigung in der Fusionskontrolle wünschenswert?) Eine Effizienzverteidigung in der Fusionskontrolle besagt, dass wettbewerbsbeschränkende Fusionen dann erlaubt werden, wenn hinreichend große Synergieeffekte zu erwarten sind. Mögliche Synergieeffekte einer Fusion sind jedoch hauptsächlich den fusionierenden Unternehmen bekannt. Eine Effizienzverteidigung ermöglicht es den fusionierenden Unternehmen, die Entscheidung der Wettbewerbsbehörde zu beeinflussen, indem sie der Wettbewerbsbehörde ihre Informationen strategisch weitergeben (oder zurückhalten). Die Autoren untersuchen, ob und wann eine Effizienzverteidigung aus gesellschaftlicher Sicht wünschenswert ist. Hierzu entwickeln sie ein Model, in dem Unternehmen, die fusionieren möchten, private Informationen über die Synergieeffekte der Fusion besitzen. Die Unternehmen können die Entscheidung der Wettbewerbsbehörde beeinflussen, indem sie ihre Informationen strategisch an die Wettbewerbsbehörde weiterleiten. Obwohl die Informationen über Synergien die Entscheidung der Wettbewerbsbehörde verbessern, kann die Einflussnahme der Firmen die Wohlfahrt verring

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

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 9-10 (December)
Pages: 803-827

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:23:y:2005:i:9-10:p:803-827
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  19. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Stennek, Johan & Verboven, Frank, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," Working Paper Series 543, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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