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Horizontal Mergers and Product Quality

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  • Kurt R. Brekke
  • Luigi Siciliani
  • Odd Rune Straume

Abstract

We study the effects of horizontal mergers when firms compete on quality and price. Two key factors are identified: (i) the magnitude of variable quality costs, and (ii) the relative magnitudes of cross-quality and cross-price effects on demand. The merging firms will increase (reduce) both quality and price if the degree of competition is sufficiently stronger (weaker) on price than on quality. If variable quality costs are sufficiently small, non-merging firms will respond to a merger by either reducing or increasing both price and quality. Welfare implications are not clear-cut and mergers might improve welfare through endogenous fixed-cost savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2015. "Horizontal Mergers and Product Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 5406, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5406
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    Cited by:

    1. Cellini, Roberto & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2018. "A dynamic model of quality competition with endogenous prices," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 190-206.
    2. Gabszewicz Jean J. & Marini Marco A. & Tarola Ornella, 2019. "Endogenous Mergers in Markets with Vertically Differentiated Products," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(1), pages 1-22, January.
    3. Firgo, Matthias & Kügler, Agnes, 2018. "Cooperative pricing in spatially differentiated markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 51-67.
    4. Oksana Loginova & Andrea Mantovani, 2019. "Price competition in the presence of a web aggregator," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 43-73, January.
    5. Cellini, Roberto, 2020. "Whom Should I Merge With? How product substitutability affects merger profitability," MPRA Paper 102416, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2020.
    6. Marco A. Marini, 2018. "Collusive agreements in vertically differentiated markets," Chapters, in: Luis C. Corchón & Marco A. Marini (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume II, chapter 3, pages 34-56, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Houyuan Jiang & Zhan Pang & Sergei Savin, 2020. "Performance Incentives and Competition in Health Care Markets," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 29(5), pages 1145-1164, May.
    8. repec:nip:nipewp:08/2015 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Roberto Cellini, 2021. "Whom should I merge with? How product substitutability affects merger profitability," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 48(3), pages 337-353, September.
    10. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Marini, Marco A. & Tarola, Ornella, 2015. "Endogenous Mergers in Vertically Differentiated Markets," MPRA Paper 68318, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Miguel González-Maestre & Lluís M. Granero, 2016. "Merger policy in innovative industries," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 15(3), pages 131-147, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    horizontal mergers; quality and price competition;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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