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Dynamic Merger Review

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  • Volker Nocke
  • Michael D. Whinston

Abstract

We analyze the optimal dynamic policy of an antitrust authority towards horizontal mergers when merger proposals are endogenous and occur over time. Approving a currently proposed merger will affect the profitability and welfare effects of potential future mergers, the characteristics of which may not yet be known to the antitrust authority. We show that, in many cases, this apparently difficult problem has a simple resolution: an antitrust authority can maximize discounted consumer surplus by using a completely myopic merger review policy that approves a merger today if and only if it does not lower consumer surplus given the current market structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Nocke & Michael D. Whinston, 2008. "Dynamic Merger Review," NBER Working Papers 14526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nilssen, Tore & Sorgard, Lars, 1998. "Sequential horizontal mergers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1683-1702, November.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    3. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 189-210, June.
    4. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, June.
    5. Motta, Massimo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2005. "Efficiency gains and myopic antitrust authority in a dynamic merger game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 777-801, December.
    6. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Mergers as Reallocation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 765-776, November.
    7. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "The Q-Theory of Mergers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 198-204, May.
    8. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, March.
    9. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-187, June.
    10. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2001. "Horizontal Mergers and Merger Waves in a Location Model," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 263-286, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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