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On the desirability of an efficiency defense in merger control

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

Abstract

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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  • Lagerlof, Johan N.M. & Heidhues, Paul, 2005. "On the desirability of an efficiency defense in merger control," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 803-827, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:23:y:2005:i:9-10:p:803-827
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gürtler, Oliver & Kräkel, Matthias, 2006. "Mergers, Litigation and Efficiency," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 185, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Juwon Kwak, 2013. "Merger settlement as a screening device," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 523-540, December.
    3. Diego Restrepo-Tobón & Subal Kumbhakar & Kai Sun, 2015. "Obelix vs. Asterix: Size of US commercial banks and its regulatory challenge," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 125-168, October.
    4. Jovanovic, Dragan & Wey, Christian, 2012. "An equilibrium analysis of efficiency gains from mergers," DICE Discussion Papers 64, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    5. Goran Serdareviæ & Petr Teplý, 2011. "The Efficiency of EU Merger Control During the Period 1990–2008," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 61(3), pages 252-276, July.
    6. Andrei Medvedev, 2004. "Efficiency Defense and Administrative Fuzziness in Merger Regulation," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp234, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. Patrice Bougette & Florent Venayre, 2008. "Contrôles a priori et a posteriori des concentrations : comment augmenter l'efficacité des politiques de concurrence," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 9-40.
    8. Haucap, Justus, 2010. "Eingeschränkte Rationalität in der Wettbewerbsökonomie," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 08, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    9. Thomas Giebe & Miyu Lee, 2015. "Competitors In Merger Control: Shall They Be Merely Heard Or Also Listened To?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-011, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    10. Emilie Dargaud, 2013. "Horizontal mergers, efficiency gains and remedies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 349-372, October.
    11. Aldo González Tissinetti, 2007. "Eliciting Information from Interested Parties in Merger Control," Working Papers wp237, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    12. Shekhar, Shiva & Wey, Christian, 2017. "Uncertain merger synergies, passive partial ownership, and merger control," DICE Discussion Papers 260, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    13. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
    14. Marie Goppelsroeder & Maarten Pieter Schinkel & Jan Tuinstra, 2008. "QUANTIFYING THE SCOPE FOR EFFICIENCY DEFENSE IN MERGER CONTROL: THE WERDEN-FROEB-INDEX -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 778-808, December.
    15. Choné, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2008. "Assessing horizontal mergers under uncertain efficiency gains," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 913-929, July.
    16. Andreea Cosnita-Langlais & Jean-Philippe Tropeano, 2013. "Ex post or ex ante? On the optimal timing of merger control," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-22, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    17. Johan Lagerlöf, 2007. "A theory of rent seeking with informational foundations," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 197-218, May.
    18. Goppelsroeder, M. & Schinkel, M.P. & Tuinstra, J., 2006. "Quantifying the Scope for Efficiency Defense in Merger Control: The Werden-Froeb-Index," CeNDEF Working Papers 06-09, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    19. Choe, Chongwoo & Shekhar, Chander, 2010. "Compulsory or voluntary pre-merger notification? Theory and some evidence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 10-20, January.
    20. repec:spr:weltar:v:153:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0281-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Berg, Aron & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2012. "International Mergers with Financially Constrained Owners," Working Paper Series 927, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    22. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
    23. Ormosi, Peter L., 2012. "Claim efficiencies or offer remedies? An analysis of litigation strategies in EC mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 578-592.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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