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Predation and Mergers: Is Merger Law Counterproductive?

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  • Persson, Lars

Abstract

This Paper shows that predation might help firms overcome the free riding problem of mergers by changing the acquisition situation in the buyer's favour relative to the firms outside the merger. It is also shown that the bidding competition for the prey's assets is most harmful to predators when the use of the prey's assets exerts strong negative externalities on rivals, i.e. when their use severely reduces competitors' profits. The reason is that potential buyers are then willing to pay a high price for the prey in order to prevent other buyers from obtaining the assets. This implies that predators prefer predation technologies that destroy the prey's assets since they limit the negative effects of the subsequent bidding competition for the prey. It is also shown that a restrictive merger policy might be counterproductive, since it might increase the incentives for predation by helping predators avoid the bidding competition. Moreover, the incentive for predation under the US failing firm defence might be strong, since it allows mergers but limits the bidding competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Persson, Lars, 2001. "Predation and Mergers: Is Merger Law Counterproductive?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2734, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2734
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Appelbaum, Elie & Weber, Shlomo, 1992. "A note on the free rider problem in oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 473-480, December.
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    8. Yamey, B S, 1972. "Predatory Price Cutting: Notes and Comments," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 129-142, April.
    9. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-227, March.
    10. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-499.
    11. Neumann, George R & Nelson, Jon P, 1982. "Safety Regulation and Firm Size: Effects of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 183-199, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo & Persson, Lars, 2005. "Exclusive Dealing, Entry and Mergers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4902, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Helder Vasconcelos, 2013. "Can the failing firm defence rule be counterproductive?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 567-593, April.
    3. Mason, Robin & Weeds, Helen, 2013. "Merger policy, entry, and entrepreneurship," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 23-38.
    4. Chiara Fumagalli & Massimo Motta & Lars Persson, 2009. "ON THE ANTICOMPETITIVE EFFECT OF EXCLUSIVE DEALING WHEN ENTRY BY MERGER IS POSSIBLE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 785-811, December.
    5. Miguel González-Maestre & Diego Peñarrubia, 2005. "Innovation, merger policy and technology transfer," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(1), pages 181-201, January.
    6. Appelbaum, Elie & Weber, Shlomo, 1992. "A note on the free rider problem in oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 473-480, December.
    7. Friberg, Richard & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2008. "Getting a Better Price: Strategic Behaviour before Changes in Ownership of Corporate Assets," Working Paper Series 777, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo & Persson, Lars, 2007. "On the Anticompetitive Effect of Exclusive Dealing when Entry by Merger is Possible," Working Paper Series 718, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    9. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2007. "Globalization and Profitability of Cross-border Mergers & Acquisitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Ralph M. Braid, 2016. "Potential merger-forcing entry reduces maximum spacing between firms in spatial competition," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 653-669, August.
    11. Kumar, Vikram & Marshall, Robert C. & Marx, Leslie M. & Samkharadze, Lily, 2015. "Buyer resistance for cartel versus merger," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 71-80.
    12. Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Lars Persson, 2008. "Globalization and profitability of cross-border mergers and acquisitions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(2), pages 241-266, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Failing Firm Defence; Merger Law; Mergers; Predation;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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