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Mergers when firms compete by choosing both price and promotion

  • Tenn, Steven
  • Froeb, Luke
  • Tschantz, Steven

We analyze the bias from predicting merger effects using structural models of price competition when firms actually compete using both price and promotion. We extend the standard merger simulation framework to allow for competition over both price and promotion and ask what happens if we ignore promotional competition. This model is applied to the super-premium ice cream industry, where a merger between Nestlé and Dreyer's was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission. We find that ignoring promotional competition significantly biases the predicted price effects of a merger to monopoly (5% instead of 12%). About three-fourths of the difference can be attributed to estimation bias (estimated demand is too elastic), with the remainder due to extrapolation bias from assuming post-merger promotional activity stays constant (instead it declines by 31%).

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

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 695-707

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:695-707
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  17. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  18. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308, April.
  19. Peters, Craig, 2006. "Evaluating the Performance of Merger Simulation: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 627-49, October.
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