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Shelving or developing? The acquisition of potential competitors under financial constraints

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  • Fumagalli, Chiara
  • Motta, Massimo
  • Tarantino, Emanuele

Abstract

A start-up and an incumbent negotiate over an acquisition price under asymmetric information about the start-up's ability to succeed in the market. The acquisition may result in the shelving of the start-up's project or the development of a project that would otherwise never reach the market because of financial constraints. Despite this possible pro-competitive effect, the optimal merger policy commits to standards of review that prohibit high-price takeovers, even if they may be welfare-beneficial ex post. Ex ante this pushes the incumbent to acquire start-ups lacking the financial resources to develop independently, and increases expected welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2022. "Shelving or developing? The acquisition of potential competitors under financial constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 15113, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15113
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    Cited by:

    1. Vaziri, M., 2022. "Antitrust Law and Business Dynamism," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2243, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Gilbert, Richard J. & Katz, Michael L., 2022. "Dynamic merger policy and pre-merger product choice by an entrant," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    3. Lefouili, Yassine & Madio, Leonardo, 2023. "Market Structure and Investments : A Progress Report," TSE Working Papers 23-1491, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Mar 2024.
    4. Pauline Affeldt & Reinhold Kesler, 2021. "Competitors’ Reactions to Big Tech Acquisitions: Evidence from Mobile Apps," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1987, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Philipp Brunner & Igor Letina & Armin Schmutzler, 2022. "Research Joint Ventures: The Role of Financial Constraints," Diskussionsschriften dp2205, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    6. Jean-Michel Benkert & Igor Letina & Shuo Liu, 2023. "Startup Acquisitions: Acquihires and Talent Hoarding," Papers 2308.10046, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2024.
    7. Christian Fons-Rosen & Pau Roldan-Blanco & Tom Schmitz, 2022. "The Effects of Startup Acquisitions on Innovation and Economic Growth," Working Papers 944, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    8. Motta, Massimo & Peitz, Martin, 2021. "Big tech mergers," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    9. Igor Letina & Armin Schmutzler & Regina Seibel, 2024. "Killer Acquisitions And Beyond: Policy Effects On Innovation Strategies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 65(2), pages 591-622, May.
    10. Prado, Tiago S. & Bauer, Johannes M., 2022. "Big Tech platform acquisitions of start-ups and venture capital funding for innovation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    11. Geoffrey Parker & Georgios Petropoulos & Marshall Van Alstyne, 2021. "Platform mergers and antitrust," Working Papers 43276, Bruegel.
    12. Jean-Michel Benkert, Igor Letina, Shuo Liu, 2023. "Startup Acquisitions: Acquihires and Talent Hoarding," Diskussionsschriften dp2309, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    13. Klaus Gugler & Florian Szücs & Ulrich Wohak, 2023. "Start-up Acquisitions, Venture Capital and Innovation: A Comparative Study of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp340, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    14. Haucap, Justus & Stiebale, Joel, 2023. "Non-price effects of mergers and acquisitions," DICE Discussion Papers 402, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    15. Geoffrey Parker & Georgios Petropoulos & Marshall Van Alstyne, 2021. "Platform mergers and antitrust [Ex-post assessment of merger control decisions in digital markets]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press and the Associazione ICC, vol. 30(5), pages 1307-1336.
    16. Brunner, Philipp & Letina, Igor & Schmutzler, Armin, 2024. "Research joint ventures: The role of financial constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).
    17. Esmée Dijk & José Luis Moraga-González & Evgenia Motchenkova, 2023. "Start-up Acquisitions and the Entrant’s and Incumbent’s Innovation Portfolios," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 23-047/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Laureen de Barsy & Axel Gautier, 2024. "Big Tech Acquisitions and Innovation: An Empirical Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 11025, CESifo.
    19. Iñigo Herguera, 2021. "Competencia y regulación de (algunas) plataformas digitales en la UE," Working Papers 2021-10, FEDEA.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal merger policy; Selection effect; Nascent competitors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

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