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Dynamic Merger Review

  • Volker Nocke
  • Michael D. Whinston

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14526.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Volker Nocke & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Dynamic Merger Review," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1201 - 1251.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14526
Note: IO
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  1. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-87, June.
  2. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2001. "Horizontal Mergers and Merger Waves in a Location Model," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 263-86, September.
  5. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Economics Working Papers 8880, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 189-210, 06.
  7. Nilssen, Tore & Sorgard, Lars, 1998. "Sequential horizontal mergers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1683-1702, November.
  8. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "Mergers as Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 9279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "The Q-Theory of Mergers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 198-204, May.
  10. Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, 06.
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