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Preventing merger unilateral effects: A Nash-Cournot approach to asset divestitures

  • Bougette, Patrice

This paper aims to analyze the effectiveness of asset transfers in preventing unilateral effects of a merger. We show that asset divestitures allow the remedying of certain price increases. Market size negatively impacts the scope of the divestiture package, while the number of merging firms increases with it. In spite of the required asset sale, parties' profitability remains ensured in most cases. Buyers always make profit from their purchase if industry fixed costs are rather low. We also add the alternative of a second buyer and compare outcomes with both consumer and welfare standards. Furthermore, as many mergers lead to efficiency gains, we integrate specific cost synergies and show that the higher the synergies, the smaller the divestiture share. In the case when no buyers are available, we show that the option of divesting to a start-up entity is bound to fail if firms' technology remains the same. Lastly, we find that product differentiation can reduce the efficiency of the asset transfer.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 162-174

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:64:y:2010:i:3:p:162-174
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941

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  1. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Economics Working Papers 8880, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Motta, Massimo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2005. "Efficiency gains and myopic antitrust authority in a dynamic merger game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 777-801, December.
  3. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Industrial Organization 0012002, EconWPA, revised 05 Jan 2001.
  4. Andrei Medvedev, 2007. "Structural Remedies in Merger Regulation in a Cournot Framework," Working Papers 07-16, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  5. Emilie, Dargaud, 2010. "Mergers, cartels and leniency programs: The role of capital stocks," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 45-57, March.
  6. Cosnita, A. & Tropeano, J.P., 2008. "Negotiating remedies : revealing the merger efficiency gains," Working Papers 200803, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  7. Artz, Benjamin & Heywood, John S. & McGinty, Matthew, 2009. "The merger paradox in a mixed oligopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-10, March.
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  10. Lundmark, Robert & Nilsson, Mats, 2003. "What do economic simulations tell us? Recent mergers in the iron ore industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 111-118.
  11. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  12. Dennis W. Carlton, 2007. "Does Antitrust Need to be Modernized?," EAG Discussions Papers 200703, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  13. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Unilateral Effects," IDEI Working Papers 222, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  14. James A. Brander & Anming Zhang, 1990. "Market Conduct in the Airline Industry: An Empirical Investigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 567-583, Winter.
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