Vertical Integration and Competition Policy
Recently, the European Commission has decided to implement a simplified procedure in the context of vertical integration. If the combined market shares of the merging firms are less than 25 percent, upstream and downstream, the Commission will consider the merger harmless. The purpose of this study is to examine the welfare aspects of vertical integration in a simple model and investigate the accuracy of the proposed rule of thumb. The welfare implications of vertical integration turn out to depend on relative market shares and the degree of product differentiation. Basically, a merger is harmless from a social point of view when the upstream market is relatively concentrated compared to the downstream market and/or if products are sufficiently close substitutes. We therefore suggest an alternative screening rule: If the upstream market is significantly less concentrated than the downstream market, or if products obviously are close substitutes, mergers may be approved at an early stage of the screening process. Otherwise the merger may be detrimental to welfare and the competition authority should evaluate it more carefully.
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|Date of creation:||24 Jan 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Regulatory Economics, 2003, pages 213-222.|
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- Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Riordan, M.H., 1996.
"Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm,"
64, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Riordan, Michael H, 1998. "Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1232-48, December.
- Michael Riordan, 1996. "Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm," Papers 0064, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Hackner, Jonas, 2000.
"A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 233-239, August.
- Häckner, Jonas, 1999. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Research Papers in Economics 1999:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
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