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Weddings with Uncertain Prospects - Mergers under Asymmetric Information


  • Borek, Thomas
  • Bühler, Stefan
  • Schmutzler, Armin


We provide a framework for analysing bilateral mergers when there is two-sided asymmetric information about firms’ types. We introduce the concepts of essentially monotone decreasing (EMD) and increasing (EMI) functions, which generalize the respective mono-tonicity properties. If the profit differential between post-merger and pre-merger profits satisfies EMD, low-state firms gain more than high-state firms from mergers in expectation. Using this result, we characterize the equilibria of merger games with simultaneous and sequential moves. The application of our framework to specific oligopoly models illustrates that the introduction of two-sided asymmetric information may lead to considerable changes in the predicted merger pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • Borek, Thomas & Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects - Mergers under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3839

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hviid, Morten & Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "Merger Failure and Merger Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 371-386, December.
    2. Athey, S., 1996. "Characterizing Properties of Stochastic Objective Functions," Working papers 96-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Barros, Pedro Pita, 1998. "Endogenous mergers and size asymmetry of merger participants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 113-119, July.
    4. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G. & Ruback, Richard S., 1992. "Does corporate performance improve after mergers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 135-175, April.
    5. Gal-Or, Esther, 1988. "The Informational Advantages or Disadvantages of Horizontal Mergers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 639-661, November.
    6. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    7. Ravenscraft, David J. & Scherer, F. M., 1989. "The profitability of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 101-116, March.
    8. Garth Saloner, 1987. "Predation, Mergers, and Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 165-186, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Buehler & Justus Haucap, 2004. "Mobile Number Portability," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 223-238, September.
    2. Buehler Stefan & Schmutzler Armin, 2005. "Asymmetric Vertical Integration," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Buehler, Stefan & Haucap, Justus, 2006. "Strategic outsourcing revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 325-338, November.
    4. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2004. "Globalization and General Worker Training," SOI - Working Papers 0403, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    5. Albert Banal‐Estañol & Jo Seldeslachts, 2011. "Merger Failures," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 589-624, June.
    6. Polk, Andreas & Schmutzler, Armin, 2005. "Lobbying against environmental regulation vs. lobbying for loopholes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 915-931, December.
    7. Michael Breuer, 2004. "Optimal Insurance Contracts without the Non-Negativity Constraint on Indemnities Revisited," SOI - Working Papers 0406, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    8. Harry Telser & Karolin Becker & Peter Zweifel, 2004. "Validity and Reliability of Willingness-to-Pay Estimates: Evidence from Two Overlapping Discrete-Choice Experiments," SOI - Working Papers 0412, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Mar 2008.
    9. Michael Breuer, 2003. "Multiple Losses, Ex-Ante Moral Hazard, and the Non-Optimality of the Standard Insurance Contract," SOI - Working Papers 0302, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2003.
    10. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2005. "On The Role of Access Charges Under Network Competition," SOI - Working Papers 0501, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    11. Thomas Borek & Stefan Bühler & Armin Schmutzler, 2008. "Analyzing Mergers under Asymmetric Information: A Simple Reduced-Form Approach," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-15, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    12. Peter Zweifel & Harry Telser & Stephan Vaterlaus, 2005. "Consumer Resistance Against Regulation: The Case of Health Care," SOI - Working Papers 0505, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    13. Koppl, Thorsten V. & Monnet, Cyril, 2007. "Guess what: It's the settlements! Vertical integration as a barrier to efficient exchange consolidation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3013-3033, October.
    14. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "Ordered response models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 167-181, March.
    15. Thomas Borek & Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2004. "Mergers under Asymmetric Information � Is there a Lemons Problem?," SOI - Working Papers 0408, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    16. Thomas Borek & Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2002. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects � Mergers under Asymmetric Information," SOI - Working Papers 0213, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2004.
    17. Peter Zweifel, 2005. "The Purpose and Limits of Social Health Insurance," SOI - Working Papers 0509, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2005.
    18. Harry Telser & Peter Zweifel, 2003. "Validity of Discrete-Choice Experiments - Evidence for Health Risk Reduction," SOI - Working Papers 0313, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2005.
    19. Michael Breuer, 2004. "Deductible or Co-Insurance: Which is the Better Insurance Contract under Adverse Selection?," SOI - Working Papers 0401, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2004.

    More about this item


    asymmetric information; essentially monotone decreasing functions; merger; oligopoly; single crossing;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out


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