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Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?

Listed author(s):
  • Bulow, Jeremy I.
  • Klemperer, Paul

We compare the most common methods for selling a company or other asset when participation is costly: a simple simultaneous auction, and a sequential process in which potential buyers decide in turn whether or not to enter the bidding. The sequential process is always more efficient. But pre-emptive bids transfer surplus from the seller to buyers. Because the auction is more conducive to entry - precisely because of its inefficiency - it usually generates higher expected revenue. We also discuss the effects of lock-ups, matching rights, break-up fees (as in takeover battles), entry subsidies, etc.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7411.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7411
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  7. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, February.
  8. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, July.
  10. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-194, March.
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  19. Burguet, Roberto, 1996. "Optimal Repeated Purchases When Sellers Are Learning about Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 440-455, February.
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-1090, October.
  21. Hirshleifer, David, 1989. "Facilitation of Competing Bids and the Price of a Takeover Target," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2496649g, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  22. Preston McAfee, R. & McMillan, John, 1988. "Search mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 99-123, February.
  23. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 2001. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 219-240, August.
  24. Jacques Crémer & Yossi Spiegel & Charles Zheng, 2009. "Auctions with costly information acquisition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 41-72, January.
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