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On the Desirability of an Efficiency Defense in Merger Control

  • Heidhues, Paul
  • Lagerlöf, Johan N. M.

We develop a model in which two firms that have proposed to merge are privately informed about merger-specific efficiencies. This enables the firms to influence the merger control procedure by strategically revealing their information to an antitrust authority. Although the information improves upon the quality of the authority’s decision, the influence activities may be detrimental to welfare if information processing/gathering is excessively costly. Whether this is the case depends on the merger control institution and, in particular, whether it involves an efficiency defense. We derive the optimal institution and provide conditions under which an efficiency defense is desirable. We also discuss the implications for antitrust policy and outline a three-step procedure that takes the influence activities into consideration.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3841.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3841
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  17. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  18. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  19. Fabienne Ilzkovitz & Roderick Meiklejohn, 2003. "European Merger Control: Do We Need an Efficiency Defence?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 57-85, March.
  20. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1993. "Contested Mergers and Equilibrium Antitrust Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29, April.
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  22. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2000. "Interference, Contracts and Authority with Insecure Communication," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0650, Econometric Society.
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