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Dynamic Merger Review

Author

Listed:
  • Volker Nocke
  • Michael D. Whinston

Abstract

We analyze the optimal dynamic policy of an antitrust authority toward horizontal mergers when merger proposals are endogenous and occur over time. Approving a currently proposed merger may affect the profitability and welfare effects of potential future mergers, whose characteristics may not yet be known. We identify conditions under which discounted expected consumer surplus is maximized by using a completely myopic merger review policy that approves a merger if and only if it does not lower consumer surplus given the current market structure. We also discuss a number of extensions as well as factors that undermine the optimality of myopic merger review policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Nocke & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Dynamic Merger Review," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1201-1251.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/658161
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nilssen, Tore & Sorgard, Lars, 1998. "Sequential horizontal mergers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1683-1702, November.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    3. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 189-210, June.
    4. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Mergers as Reallocation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 765-776, November.
    7. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "The Q-Theory of Mergers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 198-204, May.
    8. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, January.
    9. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-187, June.
    10. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2001. "Horizontal Mergers and Merger Waves in a Location Model," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 263-286, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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