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Mergers and Business Model Assimilation: Evidence from Low-Cost Airlines Takeovers

This paper examines mergers that lead to an almost immediate replacement of the target firm’s business model in favor of that of the acquiring firm. We examine the post-merger behavior of the two leading European dedicated low-cost airlines, EasyJet and Ryanair, each acquiring another low-cost airline, respectively Go Fly and Buzz. We find that both takeovers had an immediate and sustained impact on both the pricing structures and the extent of inter-temporal price schedules used on the acquired routes, with early booking fares noticeably reduced and only very late booking fares increased. The analysis suggests that the takeovers had a net beneficial effect as a consequence of the introduction of the acquiring firms’ business models and associated yield management pricing systems. .

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File URL: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/RePEc/lbo/lbowps/dobson_piga_mergers_LCA.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Loughborough University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2009_2.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2009
Handle: RePEc:lbo:lbowps:2009_2
Contact details of provider: Postal: Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU
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Web page: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/research/economics/index.html
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  1. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2005. "How do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," NBER Working Papers 11072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
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  4. Gagnepain, Philippe & Marin, Pedro L, 2006. "Regulation and Incentives in European Aviation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 229-48, April.
  5. Kim, E Han & Singal, Vijay, 1993. "Mergers and Market Power: Evidence from the Airline Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 549-69, June.
  6. Levy, David T & Reitzes, James D, 1992. "Anticompetitive Effects of Mergers in Markets with Localized Competition," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 427-40, April.
  7. Claudio A. Piga & Enrico Bachis, 2006. "Pricing strategies by European traditional and low cost airlines. Or, when is it the best time to book on line?," Discussion Paper Series 2006_14, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jul 2006.
  8. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken, 2008. "The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies," NBER Working Papers 13859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peters, Craig, 2006. "Evaluating the Performance of Merger Simulation: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 627-49, October.
  10. James D. Dana & Jr., 1998. "Advance-Purchase Discounts and Price Discrimination in Competitive Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 395-422, April.
  11. Gale, Ian L. & Holmes, Thomas J., 1992. "The efficiency of advance-purchase discounts in the presence of aggregate demand uncertainty," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 413-437, September.
  12. repec:att:wimass:9005 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "The Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers: A Survey," Working Papers 62, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  14. James D. Dana Jr., 1999. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion Under Demand Uncertainty: The Roles of Costly Capacity and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 632-660, Winter.
  15. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt8v1500b8, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  16. Michael D. Whinston & Scott C. Collins, 1992. "Entry and Competitive Structure in Deregulated Airline Markets: An Event Study Analysis of People Express," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 445-462, Winter.
  17. Borenstein, Severin, 1990. "Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 400-404, May.
  18. 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.
  19. Giaume, Stephanie & Guillou, Sarah, 2004. "Price discrimination and concentration in European airline markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 305-310.
  20. Gale, Ian L & Holmes, Thomas J, 1993. "Advance-Purchase Discounts and Monopoly Allocation of Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 135-46, March.
  21. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
  22. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1994. "Living by the "Golden Rule": Multimarket Contact in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 341-66, May.
  23. 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.
  24. Richard, Oliver, 2003. "Flight frequency and mergers in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 907-922, June.
  25. Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
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