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Using Retail Data for Upstream Merger Analysis

  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B

The typical situation faced by antitrust authorities is to analyze a proposed manufacturer merger using scanner data at retail-level. Starting with a benchmark model of manufacturers' and retailers' sequential Bertrand-Nash pricing behavior, I perform counterfactual experiments to explore the relationship between downstream retailer pricing models and the resulting estimates of upstream mergers, in the absence of wholesale prices. Looking at scanner data for the ground coffee category sold at several retail chains in Germany I find that not considering retail pricing explicitly when analyzing the potential consequences of an upstream merger, implies simulated changes in welfare that are significantly different given the underlying model of retail pricing behavior. These findings are relevant for competition policy, and authorities should consider incorporating the role of retailers in upstream merger analyzes, especially in the presence of an increasingly consolidated retail food industry.

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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt1g19d53k.

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Date of creation: 25 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt1g19d53k
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  1. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
  2. Patrick Rey & Thibaud Verge, 2002. "Resale Price Maintenance and Horizontal Cartel," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/047, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Nocke, Volker & White, Lucy, 2004. "Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:165-199 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Julie H. Mortimer, 2008. "Vertical Contracts in the Video Rental Industry -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 165-199.
  6. Villas-Boas, Sofia & Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2006. "Identification of supply models of retailer and manufacturer oligopoly pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 132-140, January.
  7. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  8. Draganska, Michaela & Klapper, Daniel & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2007. "Determinants of Margins in the Distribution Channel: An Empirical Investigation," Research Papers 1959, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  9. Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2006. "Vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers: inference with limited data," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0z26d2v9, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  10. Justine S. Hastings, 2004. "Vertical Relationships and Competition in Retail Gasoline Markets: Empirical Evidence from Contract Changes in Southern California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 317-328, March.
  11. Ronald W. Cotterill, 2006. "Antitrust analysis of supermarkets: global concerns playing out in local markets," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(1), pages 17-32, 03.
  12. Bonnet, C. & Dubois, P. & Simioni, M., 2006. "Two-part tariffs versus linear pricing between manufacturers and retailers : empirical tests on differentiated products markets," Economics Working Paper Archive (Toulouse) 200604, French Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), Economics Laboratory in Toulouse (ESR Toulouse).
  13. Jean-Pierre Dubé, 2005. "Product Differentiation and Mergers in the Carbonated Soft Drink Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 879-904, December.
  14. Richard J. Sexton, 2000. "Industrialization and Consolidation in the U.S. Food Sector: Implications for Competition and Welfare," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1087-1104.
  15. Draganska, Michaela & Klapper, Daniel, 2006. "Retail Environment and Manufacturer Competitive Intensity," Research Papers 1953, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  16. Bettendorf, L & Verboven, F, 2000. "Incomplete Transmission of Coffee Bean Prices: Evidence from the Netherlands," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 1-16, March.
  17. Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1993. "Some Applications and Limitations of Recent Advances in Empirical Industrial Organization: Merger Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 247-52, May.
  18. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  19. Marie-Laure Allain & Saïd Souam, 2000. "Horizontal Mergers and Vertical Relationships," Working Papers 2000-27, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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