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Assessing Horizontal Mergers under Uncertain Efficiency Gains

  • Philippe Choné
  • Laurent Linnemer

The analysis of horizontal mergers hinges on a tradeoff between unilateral effects and efficiency gains. The article examines the role of uncertainty (on the efficiency gains) in this tradeoff. Common wisdom is that the antitrust authorities should be very cautious about random gains. Our results show that dismissing efficiency gains on the sole ground that they are uncertain would not be theoretically founded. Indeed, the attitude towards uncertainty depends on the curvature of the social objective function. We exhibit a number of situations where the objective is convex in the efficiency gains, implying that competition authorities should welcome the risk for a given expectation of efficiency gains. Implications for empirical merger analysis are exposed.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-05/cesifo1_wp1726.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1726.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1726
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  1. AMIR, Rabah & DIAMANTOUDI, Effrosyni & XUE, Licun, 2003. "Merger performance under uncertain efficiency gains," CORE Discussion Papers 2003038, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  11. Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
  12. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  13. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  14. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Quantifying the effects from horizontal mergers in European competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 669-691, December.
  15. Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2001. "The Effects of Mergers: An International Comparison," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-21, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  16. Banal-Estanol, Albert, 2007. "Information-sharing implications of horizontal mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 31-49, February.
  17. Werden, Gregory J, 1996. "A Robust Test for Consumer Welfare Enhancing Mergers among Sellers of Differentiated Products," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 409-13, December.
  18. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  19. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1998. "The Entry-Inducing Effects of Horizontal Mergers: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 525-43, December.
  20. Froeb, Luke & Tschantz, Steven & Werden, Gregory J., 2005. "Pass-through rates and the price effects of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 703-715, December.
  21. Neven, Damien J & Röller, Lars-Hendrik, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 2620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  23. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  24. Spector, David, 2003. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1591-1600, December.
  25. Stennek, Johan, 1999. "The expected consumer's surplus as a welfare measure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 265-288, August.
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