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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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  6. Huck, Steffen & Konrad, Kai A. & Müller, Wieland, 2001. "Profitable horizontal mergers without cost advantages: The role of internal organization, information, and market structure," Discussion Papers, various Research Units FS IV 01-05, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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  10. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Industrial Organization 0012002, EconWPA, revised 05 Jan 2001.
  11. 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.
  12. Martin Pesendorfer, 1998. "Horizontal Mergers in the Paper Industry," NBER Working Papers 6751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Peltzman, Sam, 1977. "The Gains and Losses from Industrial Concentration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 229-63, October.
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