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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 takes the influence activities into consideration.

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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
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  1. Lewis, Tracy R & Poitevin, Michel, 1997. "Disclosure of Information in Regulatory Proceedings," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 50-73, April.
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  16. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  18. Fisher, Franklin M, 1987. "Horizontal Mergers: Triage and Treatment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 23-40, Fall.
  19. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2000. "Interference, Contracts and Authority with Insecure Communication," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0650, Econometric Society.
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