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Dynamic Merger Review

  • Nocke, Volker
  • Whinston, Michael

We analyze the optimal dynamic policy of an antitrust authority towards horizontal mergers when merger proposals are endogenous and occur over time. Approving a currently proposed merger will affect the profitability and welfare effects of potential future mergers, the characteristics of which may not yet be known to the antitrust authority. We show that, in many cases, this apparently difficult problem has a simple resolution: an antitrust authority can maximize discounted consumer surplus by using a completely myopic merger review policy that approves a merger today if and only if it does not lower consumer surplus given the current market structure.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7077.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7077
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  1. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  3. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "The Q-Theory of Mergers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 198-204, May.
  4. Nilssen, T. & Sogard, L., 1995. "Sequential Horizontal Mergers," Papers 04-95, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  5. Motta, Massimo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2005. "Efficiency gains and myopic antitrust authority in a dynamic merger game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 777-801, December.
  6. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2001. "Horizontal Mergers and Merger Waves in a Location Model," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 263-86, September.
  7. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 189-210, 06.
  8. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, 06.
  9. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "Mergers as Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 9279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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