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Why Mergers Reduce Profits, and Raise Share-Prices


  • Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof
  • Stennek, Johan


We explain the empirical puzzle why mergers reduce profits, and raise share prices. If being an 'insider' is better than being an 'outsider', firms may merge to preempt their partner merging with a rival. The stock-value is increased, since the risk of becoming an outsider is eliminated. We also show that mergers increasing consumers' prices, while increasing competitors' profits, may reduce the competitors' share-prices. Thus, event-studies may not detect anti-competitive mergers. These results are derived in an endogenous-merger model, predicting the conditions under which mergers occur, the time of merger, and the split of surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2000. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits, and Raise Share-Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2357, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2357

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2008. "Strategic merger waves: A theory of musical chairs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 1-26, May.
    2. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 2001. "Endogenous mergers in concentrated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1213-1244, September.
    3. Duso, Tomaso & Gugler, Klaus & Yurtoglu, Burcin B., 2011. "How effective is European merger control?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 980-1006.
    4. Steffen Huck & Kai A. Konrad & Wieland Müller & Hans-Theo Normann, 2007. "The Merger Paradox and why Aspiration Levels Let it Fail in the Laboratory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1073-1095, July.
    5. Tomaso Duso & Klaus Gugler & Burcin Yurtoglu, 2005. "EU Merger Remedies: A Preliminary Empirical Assessment," CIG Working Papers SP II 2005-16, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    6. Norback, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2007. "Investment liberalization -- Why a restrictive cross-border merger policy can be counterproductive," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 366-380, July.
    7. Michael Higl & Peter Welzel, 2005. "Intra-firm Coordination and Horizontal Merger," Discussion Paper Series 269, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    8. Gunther Tichy, 2001. "What Do We Know about Success and Failure of Mergers?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 347-394, December.
    9. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2001. "Investment Liberalization - Who Benefits from Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions?," Working Paper Series 569, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & John Kay & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2006. "Chapter 5: Mergers and Competition Policy in Europe," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 101-116, March.
    11. Berg, Aron & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2012. "International Mergers with Financially Constrained Owners," Working Paper Series 927, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    12. repec:ces:eeagre:v::y:2006:i::p:1-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2002. "Investment Liberalization - Who Benefits from Cross Border Mergers," CEPR Discussion Papers 3166, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    Acquisitions; Coalition; Defensive Mergers; Mergers;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices


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