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When Backward Integration by a Dominant Firm Improves Welfare

  • Laurent Linnemer

    (Crest)

This paper studies the welfare consequences of a vertical merger that raises rivals‘ costs when downstream competition is à la Cournot between firms with constant asymmetric marginal costs. The main result is that such a vertical merger can nevertheless improve welfare if it involves a downstream firm whose cost is “low enough“. This is because by raising the input price paid by the non-merging firms the merger thereby shifts production away from those relatively inefficient producers in favor of the more efficient firm. However there is a tradeoff between the gain in productive efficiency and the loss in consumers‘ surplus caused by a higher downstream price which follows a higher input price. It is also shown, through an example, that this result extends to price competition with differentiated products.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2000-42.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2000-42
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  1. Salinger, Michael A, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-56, May.
  2. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 698-703, June.
  3. Avenel, E. & Barlet, C., 2000. "Vertical Foreclosure, Technological Choice and Entry on the Intermediate Market," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 2000.18, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  4. Géarard Gaudet & Ngo Long, 1996. "Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, and profits in the Presence of Double Marginalization," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 409-432, 09.
  5. Riordan, Michael H, 1998. "Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1232-48, December.
  6. Novshek, William., 1984. "On the Existence of Cournot Equilibrium," Working Papers 517, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Peterman, John L, 1975. "The Brown Shoe Case," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 81-146, April.
  8. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-42, March.
  9. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Asset Ownership and Market Structure in Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
  10. Alexander Schrader & Stephen Martin, 1998. "Vertical Market Participation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 321-331, June.
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