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Assessing horizontal mergers under uncertain efficiency gains

  • Choné, Philippe
  • Linnemer, Laurent

The analysis of horizontal mergers hinges on a tradeoff between unilateral effects and efficiency gains. We examine the role of uncertainty in this tradeoff. In theory, the attitude towards uncertainty depends on the curvature of the social objective function. On the one hand, adjustment effects, both on the consumers' and firms' sides, tend to make consumers' surplus and firms' profits convex. On the other hand, pass-through effects may act in the opposite direction. We show that convexity prevails in a number of situations, including the most general linear demand model. Implications for empirical merger analysis are exposed.

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

Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 913-929

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:4:p:913-929
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-15, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  3. Werden, G.J., 1996. "A Robust Test for Consumer Welfare Enhancing Mergers Among Sellers of Differentiated Products," Papers 96-01, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
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  7. Anderson, Simon & de Palma, Andre & Kreider, Brent, 2001. "Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers 5202, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Spector, David, 2003. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1591-1600, December.
  9. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1993. "Contested Mergers and Equilibrium Antitrust Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29, April.
  10. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Quantifying the Effects from Horizontal Mergers in European Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Albert Banal-Esta?l, 2002. "Information-Sharing Implications of Horizontal Mergers," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 544.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  12. Baker, Jonathan B & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1999. "Empirical Methods in Antitrust Litigation: Review and Critique," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 386-435, Fall.
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  16. Licun Xue & Rabah Amir & Effrosyni Diamantoudi, 2004. "Merger Performance under Uncertain Efficiency Gains," Working Papers 2004.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  17. Stennek, Johan, 1999. "The expected consumer's surplus as a welfare measure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 265-288, August.
  18. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, August.
  19. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
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  21. 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.
  22. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  23. Froeb, Luke & Tschantz, Steven & Werden, Gregory J., 2005. "Pass-through rates and the price effects of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 703-715, December.
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  25. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1998. "The Entry-Inducing Effects of Horizontal Mergers: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 525-43, December.
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