IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Merger efficiency and welfare implications of buyer power

  • Özlem Bedre-Defolie

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Stéphane Caprice

    (Toulouse School of Economics)

This paper analyzes the welfare implications of buyer mergers, which are mergers between downstream firms from different markets. We focus on the interaction between the merger's effects on downstream efficiency and on buyer power in a setup where one manufacturer with a non-linear cost function sells to two locally competitive retail markets. We show that size discounts for the merged entity has no impact on consumer prices or on smaller retailers, unless the merger affects the downstream efficiency of the merging parties. When the upstream cost function is convex, we find that there are “waterbed effects,” that is, each small retailer pays a higher average tariff if a buyer merger improves downstream efficiency. We obtain the opposite results, “anti-waterbed effects,” if the merger is inefficient. When the cost function is concave, there are only anti-waterbed effects. In each retail market, the merger decreases the final price if and only if it improves the efficiency of the merging parties, regardless of its impact on the average tariff of small retailers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-11-07.

in new window

Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-11-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 21231 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 21231 9
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2011. "Buyer Power And The ‘Waterbed Effect’," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-20, 03.
  2. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire, 2011. "Anti-competitive effects of resale-below-cost laws," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 373-385, July.
  3. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  4. Paul Dobson & Roger Clarke & Stephen Davies & Michael Waterson, 2001. "Buyer Power and its Impact on Competition in the Food Retail Distribution Sector of the European Union," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 247-281, September.
  5. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Roman Inderst & Christian Wey, 2005. "Buyer Power and Supplier Incentives," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 464, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
  9. Smith, Howard & Thanassoulis, John, 2012. "Upstream uncertainty and countervailing power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 483-495.
  10. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Fumagalli, Chiara & Polo, Michele, 2007. "Buyer power and quality improvements," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 45-61, June.
  11. Bonnet, Céline & Dubois, Pierre, 2008. "Inference on Vertical Contracts between Manufacturers and Retailers Allowing for Non Linear Pricing and Resale Price Maintenance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6918, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Roberto A. Weber & Colin F. Camerer, 2003. "Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 400-415, April.
  13. Stéphane Caprice & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Competition Policy and Concentration of a Globalized Retail Industry," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 54(3), pages 183-202.
  14. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1996. "Countervailing power revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 507-519, June.
  15. repec:ccp:journl:v:1:y:2001:i:3:p:247-281 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-11-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ESMT Faculty Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.