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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
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  5. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  6. 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.
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  9. Dae-Wook Kim & Christopher R. Knittel, 2006. "BIASES IN STATIC OLIGOPOLY MODELS? EVIDENCE FROM THE CALIFORNIA ELECTRICITY MARKET -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 451-470, December.
  10. Steven Tenn, 2006. "Avoiding aggregation bias in demand estimation: A multivariate promotional disaggregation approach," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 383-405, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Froeb, Luke & Tschantz, Steven & Crooke, Philip, 2003. "Bertrand competition with capacity constraints: mergers among parking lots," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 49-67, March.
  15. Gregory Werden, 2000. "Expert Report in United States v. Interstate Bakeries Corp. and Continental Baking Co," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 139-148.
  16. 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.
  17. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  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.
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  20. Philip Crooke & Luke Froeb & Steven Tschantz & Gregory Werden, 1999. "Effects of Assumed Demand Form on Simulated Postmerger Equilibria," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 205-217, November.
  21. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
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