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Information-sharing implications of horizontal mergers

  • Banal-Estanol, Albert

We analyze the effects of uncertainty and private information on horizontal mergers. Firms face uncertain demands or costs and receive private signals. They may decide to merge sharing their private information. If the uncertainty parameters are independent and the signals are perfect, uncertainty generates an informational advantage only to the merging firms, increasing merger incentives and decreasing free-riding effects. Thus, mergers become more profitable and stable. These results generalize to the case of correlated parameters if the correlation is not very severe, and for perfect correlation if the firms receive noisy signals. From the normative point of view, mergers are socially less harmful compared to deterministic markets and may even be welfare enhancing. If the signals are, instead, publicly observed, uncertainty does not necessarily give more incentives to merge, and mergers are not always less socially harmful.

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

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 31-49

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:25:y:2007:i:1:p:31-49
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. 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.
  2. Satya P. Das & Sarbajit Sengupta, 2001. "Asymmetric Information, Bargaining, and International Mergers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 565-590, December.
  3. Stennek Johan, 2003. "Horizontal Mergers Without Synergies May Increase Consumer Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-14, January.
  4. Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Exchange of Cost Information in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 433-46, July.
  7. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-87, June.
  8. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Johan Stennek & Frank Verboven, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  9. Xavier Vives, 2002. "Private Information, Strategic Behavior, and Efficiency in Cournot Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 361-376, Autumn.
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