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Enforcement vs Deterrence in Merger Control: Can Remedies Lead to Lower Welfare?

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  • Andreea Cosnita-Langlais
  • Lars Sørgard

Abstract

This paper deals with the enforcement of merger policy, and aims to identify situations where the introduction of remedies can lead to a lower welfare. For this we study how merger remedies affect the deterrence accomplished by controlling mergers, and determine the optimal frequency of investigations launched by the agency. We find that when conditional approvals are possible, it may be harder to deter the most welfare-detrimental mergers, and the agency might have to investigate mergers more often. The resulting welfare from merger control can indeed be lower than without remedies.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreea Cosnita-Langlais & Lars Sørgard, 2014. "Enforcement vs Deterrence in Merger Control: Can Remedies Lead to Lower Welfare?," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-29, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
  • Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2014-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
    2. Jo Seldeslachts & Joseph A. Clougherty & Pedro Pita Barros, 2009. "Settle for Now but Block for Tomorrow: The Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy Tools," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 607-634, August.
    3. Pedro Barros & Joseph Clougherty & Jo Seldeslachts, 2010. "How to Measure the Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy: Frequency or Composition?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-8.
    4. Helder Vasconcelos, 2010. "Efficiency Gains And Structural Remedies In Merger Control," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 742-766, December.
    5. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
    6. Cabral, Luis M. B., 2003. "Horizontal mergers with free-entry: why cost efficiencies may be a weak defense and asset sales a poor remedy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 607-623, May.
    7. Tomaso Duso & Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2007. "The Political Economy of European Merger Control: Evidence using Stock Market Data," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 455-489.
    8. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters,in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Lars Sørgard, 2009. "OPTIMAL MERGER POLICY: ENFORCEMENT VS. DETERRENCE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 438-456, September.
    10. Paul L. Joskow, 2002. "Transaction Cost Economics, Antitrust Rules, and Remedies," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 95-116, April.
    11. Joseph A. Clougherty & Jo Seldeslachts, 2013. "The Deterrence Effects of US Merger Policy Instruments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 1114-1144, October.
    12. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chopard, Bertrand & Cortade, Thomas & Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea, 2015. "Success and failure of bargaining in merger control: The case of asset divestitures," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 254-259.
    2. Andreea Cosnita-Langlais, 2016. "Enforcement of Merger Control. Theoretical Insights for Its Procedural Design," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 67(HS1), pages 39-51.
    3. Chopard, Bertrand & Cortade, Thomas & Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea, 2015. "Success and failure of bargaining in merger control: The case of asset divestitures," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 254-259.
    4. Redkina, Anastasia & Lagodyuk, Ekaterina, 2016. "The deterrent effect of Russian control of mergers: An Empirical Study," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 79-104, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    merger control; merger remedies; enforcement; deterrence.;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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