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Tacit Collusion, Firm Asymmetries and Numbers: Evidence from EC Merger Cases

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Davies

    (Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)

  • Matthew Olczak

    (Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)

  • Heather Coles

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to identify empirically the implicit structural model, especially the roles of size asymmetries and concentration, used by the European Commission to identify mergers with coordinated effects (i.e. collective dominance). Apart from its obvious policy-relevance, the paper is designed to shed empirical light on the condition under which tacit collusion is most likely. We construct a database relating to 62 candidate mergers and find that, in the eyes of the Commission, tacit collusion in this context virtually never involves more than two firms and requires close symmetry in the market shares of the two firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak & Heather Coles, 2007. "Tacit Collusion, Firm Asymmetries and Numbers: Evidence from EC Merger Cases," Working Papers 07-7, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp07-07
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    File URL: http://www.ccp.uea.ac.uk/publicfiles/workingpapers/CCP07-7.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bhattacharjea, Aditya & Sinha, Uday Bhanu, 2015. "Multi-market collusion with territorial allocation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 42-50.
    2. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion—The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1759-1772.
    3. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Aidas Masiliunas, 2021. "Market Concentration and Incentives to Collude in Cournot Oligopoly Experiments," ISER Discussion Paper 1131, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Roux, Catherine & Thöni, Christian, 2015. "Collusion among many firms: The disciplinary power of targeted punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 83-93.
    5. Fischer, Christian & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2019. "Collusion and bargaining in asymmetric Cournot duopoly—An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 360-379.
    6. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak, 2010. "Assessing the Efficacy of Structural Merger Remedies: Choosing Between Theories of Harm?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 37(2), pages 83-99, September.
    7. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "Evaluating Mergers for Coordinated Effects and the Role of 'Parallel Accommodating Conduct'," Economics Working Paper Archive 601, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    8. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak, 2008. "Assessing the Efficacy of Structural Merger Remedies: Choosing Between Theories of Harm?," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2008-28, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tacit collusion; collective dominance; coordinated effects; European mergers; asymmetries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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