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Bargaining failures and merger policy

  • Burguet, Roberto
  • Caminal, Ramon

In this paper we study the optimal ex-ante merger policy in a model where merger proposals are the result of strategic bargaining among alternative candidates. We allow for firm asymmetries and, in particular, we emphasize the fact that potential synergies generated by a merger may vary substantially depending on the identity of the participating firms. The model demonstrates that, under some circumstances, relatively inefficient mergers may take place. That is, a particular merger may materialize despite the existence of an alternative merger capable of generating higher social surplus and even higher profits. Such bargaining failures have important implications for the ex-ante optimal merger policy. We show that a more stringent policy than the ex-post optimal reduces the scope of these bargaining failures and raises expected consumer surplus. We use a bargaining model that is flexible, in the sense that its strategic structure does not place any exogenous restriction on the dendogenous likelihood of feasible mergers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8989.

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Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8989
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  1. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2008. "The Coalitional Nash Bargaining Solution," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001852, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Kamien, Morton I & Zang, Israel, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-99, May.
  3. FRIDOLFSSON, Sven-Olof & STENNEK, Johan, 1999. "Why mergers reduce profits, and raise share prices: A theory of preemptive mergers," Working Papers 1999018, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  4. Barros, Pedro Pita, 1998. "Endogenous mergers and size asymmetry of merger participants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 113-119, July.
  5. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2005. "Hold-up of anti-competitive mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 753-775, December.
  6. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2002. "The Incentives for Takeover in Oligopoly," CEPR Discussion Papers 3163, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Roberto Burguet & Ramon Caminal, 2010. "Simultaneous Nash Bargaining with Consistent Beliefs," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 854.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "A Game-Theoretic Perspective on Coalition Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199207954.
  9. Avinash Dixit, 1979. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 20-32, Spring.
  10. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 1996. "Endogenous Mergers in Concentrated Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 1544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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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