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On efficiency, concentration and welfare

  • BOCCARD, Nicolas

The welfare impact of a merger involves the market power offense and the efficiency defense. Salant et al. (1983) show that mergers among symmetric firms are unprofitable except for monopolization. We characterize the limit to this merger paradox in a simple linear Cournot oligopoly with asymmetric costs. Farrell and Shapiro (1990) provide sufficient conditions for a profitable merger to increase welfare but leave open whether it exists. We characterize the degree of cost asymmetry making a merger both profitable and socially desirable. Comparing rationalization and synergy within the efficiency defense, we show that for most industry structures, a rationalization merger is more likely to be welfare enhancing but a synergy merger is more likely to be profitable.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2009040.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009040
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  1. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1988. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," Discussion Papers 802, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Gugler, Klaus & Mueller, Dennis C. & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin & Zulehner, Christine, 2003. "The effects of mergers: an international comparison," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 625-653, May.
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  7. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
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  9. Steven Heubeck & Donald J. Smythe & Jingang Zhao, 2006. "A Note on the Welfare Effects of Horizontal Mergers in Asymmetric Linear Oligopolies," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 7(1), pages 29-47, May.
  10. Levin, D., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: The 50 Percent Bench-Mark," Papers 19, Houston - Department of Economics.
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  28. Banal-Estanol, Albert & Macho-Stadler, Ines & Seldeslachts, Jo, 2008. "Endogenous mergers and endogenous efficiency gains: The efficiency defence revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 69-91, January.
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