The merger paradox in a mixed oligopoly
This paper examines the set of surplus maximizing mergers in a model of mixed oligopoly. The presence of a welfare maximizing public firm reduces the set of mergers for which two private firms can profitably merge. When a public firm and private firm merge, the changes in welfare and profit depend on the resulting extent of private ownership in the newly merged firm. When the government sets that share to maximize post merger welfare as assumed in the privatization literature, the merger paradox will often remain and the merger will not take place. Yet, we show there always exists scope for mergers that increase profit and increase (if not maximize) welfare. Interestingly, these mergers often include complete privatization.
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