Mergers, cartels and leniency programs: The role of capital stocks
This paper examines the impact of mergers on collusion, depending on the endowment of capital assets among firms. We show that mergers render collusion easier to sustain when an asymmetric capital stock is combined with less-efficient insiders, due to more symmetric conditions and tighter incentive constraints. Moreover, the model allows us to determine an optimal threshold of asymmetry between insiders and outsiders such that mergers have pro-competitive effects; we compare this value with that which would generate perfect symmetry between firms after the merger.
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