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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
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8989
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  1. Roman Inderst & Christian Wey, 2001. "The Incentives for Takeover in Oligopoly," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-24, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  2. Sven-Olof Fridolfsson & Johan Stennek, 2001. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits and Raise Share Prices: A Theory of Preemptive Mergers," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-26, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  3. 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.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K., 1978. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 125, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 1996. "Endogenous Mergers in Concentrated Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 1544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2010. "The Coalitional Nash Bargaining Solution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1593-1623, 09.
  10. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "A Game-Theoretic Perspective on Coalition Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199207954, March.
  11. Barros, Pedro Pita, 1998. "Endogenous mergers and size asymmetry of merger participants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 113-119, July.
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