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Mergers, mavericks, and tacit collusion

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  • Donja Darai
  • Catherine Roux
  • Frédéric Schneider

    (Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

Abstract

We study whether firms' collusive ability influences their incentives to merge: when tacit collusion is unsuccessful, firms may merge to reduce competitive pressure. We run a series of Bertrand oligopoly experiments where the participants decide whether, when, and to whom they send merger bids. Our experimental design allows us to observe (i) when and to whom mergers are proposed, (ii) when and by whom merger offers are accepted, and (iii) the effect on prices when mergers occur in this way. Our findings suggest that firms send more merger offers when prices are closer to marginal costs. Maverick firms that cut prices and thereby fuel competition are the predominant (but reluctant) receivers of these offers.

Suggested Citation

  • Donja Darai & Catherine Roux & Frédéric Schneider, 2019. "Mergers, mavericks, and tacit collusion," Working Papers 201902, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:jbs:wpaper:201902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Schmitz, 2019. "When Two Become One: How Group Mergers Affect Solidarity," Games, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-42, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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