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Assessing Horizontal Mergers under Uncertain Efficiency Gains

  • Philippe Choné

    (Crest)

  • Laurent Linnemer

    (Crest)

The analysis of horizontal mergers hinges on a tradeoff between unilateral effectsand efficiency gains. The article examines the role of uncertainty (on theefficiency gains) in this tradeoff. Common wisdom is that the antitrust authoritiesshould be very cautious about random gains. Our results show thatdismissing efficiency gains on the sole ground that they are uncertain would notbe theoretically founded. Indeed, the attitude towards uncertainty depends onthe curvature of the social objective function. We exhibit a number of situationswhere the objective is convex in the efficiency gains, implying that competitionauthorities should welcome the risk for a given expectation of efficiency gains.Implications for empirical merger analysis are exposed.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2006-06.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2006-06
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  1. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Quantifying the effects from horizontal mergers in European competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 669-691, December.
  2. Spector, David, 2002. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0206, CEPREMAP.
  3. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  4. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2000. "Consumer Surplus vs. Welfare Standard in a Political Economy Model of Merger Control," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-15, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  5. Rabah Amir & Effrosyni Diamantoudi & Licun Xue, 2006. "Merger Performance Under Uncertain Efficiency Gains," Departmental Working Papers 2005-07, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  6. Anderson, Simon & de Palma, Andre & Kreider, Brent, 2001. "Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers 5202, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  8. Turnovsky, Stephen J & Shalit, Haim & Schmitz, Andrew, 1980. "Consumer's Surplus, Price Instability, and Consumer Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 135-52, January.
  9. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Heidhues, Paul & Lagerlöf, Johan N. M., 2003. "On the Desirability of an Efficiency Defense in Merger Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 3841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Werden, Gregory J, 1996. "A Robust Test for Consumer Welfare Enhancing Mergers among Sellers of Differentiated Products," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 409-13, December.
  13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  14. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  15. Albert Banal-Esta?l, 2002. "Information-Sharing Implications of Horizontal Mergers," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 544.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521016919 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Baker, Jonathan B & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1999. "Empirical Methods in Antitrust Litigation: Review and Critique," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 386-435, Fall.
  18. Froeb, Luke & Tschantz, Steven & Werden, Gregory J., 2005. "Pass-through rates and the price effects of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 703-715, December.
  19. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  20. 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.
  21. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  22. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1998. "The Entry-Inducing Effects of Horizontal Mergers: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 525-43, December.
  23. Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
  24. Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2001. "The Effects of Mergers: An International Comparison," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-21, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  25. Stennek, Johan, 1999. "The expected consumer's surplus as a welfare measure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 265-288, August.
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