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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Hana BOR & Avraham KETKO, 2019. "A University Reinvents Itself: A Case Study For Understanding Strategic Mergers And Integration Between Academic Institutions," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 20(3), pages 241-258, July.
    5. 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.
    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. David Soberman, 2022. "Business Expansion Through Acquisition," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 9(3), pages 74-94, December.
    8. Andreea Cosnita‐Langlais & Alexander Rasch, 2023. "Horizontal mergers, cost savings, and network effects," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(1), pages 65-82, January.
    9. Dia, Enzo & VanHoose, David, 2022. "Differentiated attributes and service-quality competition as sources of portfolio interdependence and diverging scales in banking," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 219(C).
    10. 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.
    11. Firgo, Matthias & Kügler, Agnes, 2018. "Cooperative pricing in spatially differentiated markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 51-67.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:nip:nipewp:08/2015 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Marini, Marco A. & Tarola, Ornella, 2015. "Endogenous Mergers in Vertically Differentiated Markets," MPRA Paper 68318, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Bisceglia, Michele & Padilla, Jorge & Piccolo, Salvatore & Sääskilahti, Pekka, 2023. "On the bright side of market concentration in a mixed-oligopoly healthcare industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    16. Neelanjan Sen & Uday Bhanu Sinha, 2023. "When to merge with a lower quality producer?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 165-188, March.
    17. Maxim Sinitsyn, 2020. "Evaluating horizontal mergers in the presence of price promotions," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 39-60, March.

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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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