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Tacit collusion, firm asymmetries and numbers: Evidence from EC merger cases

  • Davies, Stephen
  • Olczak, Matthew
  • Coles, Heather
Registered author(s):

    This paper estimates the implicit model, especially the roles of size asymmetries and firm numbers, used by the European Commission to identify mergers with coordinated effects. This subset of cases offers an opportunity to shed empirical light on the conditions where a Competition Authority believes tacit collusion is most likely to arise. We find that, for the Commission, tacit collusion is a rare phenomenon, largely confined to markets of two, more or less symmetric, players. This is consistent with recent experimental literature, but contrasts with the facts on 'hard-core' collusion in which firm numbers and asymmetries are often much larger.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8P-508K7WH-1/2/fad08ddee3cda398beb9181e9eb33c95
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 221-231

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:2:p:221-231
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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    1. MiguelA. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Mergers, Asymmetries and Collusion: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 387-400, 03.
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    5. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Coate, Malcolm B & McChesney, Fred S, 1992. "Empirical Evidence on FTC Enforcement of the Merger Guidelines," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 277-93, April.
    7. repec:cpi:cpijrn:5.1.2009:i=5241 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
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    10. Khemani, R S & Shapiro, Daniel M, 1993. "An Empirical Analysis of Canadian Merger Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 161-77, June.
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    12. Davies, Stephen W & Driffield, Nigel L & Clarke, Roger, 1999. "Monopoly in the UK: What Determines Whether the MMC Finds against the Investigated Firms?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 263-83, September.
    13. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
    14. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    15. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Tacit Collusion," IDEI Working Papers 186, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    16. Tomaso Duso & Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2007. "The Political Economy of European Merger Control: Evidence using Stock Market Data," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 455-489.
    17. Slade, Margaret E, 1987. "Interfirm Rivalry in a Repeated Game: An Empirical Test of Tacit Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 499-516, June.
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