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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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  1. 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.
  2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt8v1500b8, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Spector, David, 2003. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1591-1600, December.
  6. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  7. Lewis, Tracy R & Poitevin, Michel, 1997. "Disclosure of Information in Regulatory Proceedings," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 50-73, April.
  8. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-15, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  9. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  12. Fisher, Franklin M, 1987. "Horizontal Mergers: Triage and Treatment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 23-40, Fall.
  13. Hyun Song Shin, 1998. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 378-405, Summer.
  14. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "On the Efficient Organization of Trials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-62.
  17. Andrei Medvedev, 2004. "Efficiency Defense and Administrative Fuzziness in Merger Regulation," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp234, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  18. Froeb, Luke M. & Kobayashi, Bruce H., 2001. "Evidence production in adversarial vs. inquisitorial regimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 267-272, February.
  19. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Stennek, Johan & Verboven, Frank, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," Working Paper Series 543, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  20. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
  21. Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
  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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