Predicting the impact of upstream mergers on downstream markets with an application to the retail gasoline industry
This paper presents an empirical model of oligopolistic supply and demand that reflects divisions between downstream retailers and upstream suppliers in order to evaluate the potential effects of upstream mergers. The demand model allows for downstream product differentiation, while the supply model allows upstream firms to inherit market power from their affiliated retailers. The supply and demand models are jointly estimated using data on the retail gasoline industry for the Hawaiian islands in the 1990s. A number of hypothetical upstream mergers in the Hawaiian retail gasoline industry are simulated to evaluate the effects of the mergers on market outcomes and welfare. Various scenarios with post-merger cost savings are also considered.
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