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Asymmetric Collusion and Merger Policy

  • Mattias Ganslandt

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Lars Persson


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and CEPR)

  • Helder Vasconcelos

    (Universidade Católica Portuguesa and CEPR)

In their merger control, EU and the US have considered symmetric size distribution (cost structure) of firms to be a factor potentially leading to collusion. We show that forbidding mergers leading to symmetric market structures can induce mergers leading to asymmetric market structures with higher risk of collusion, when firms face indivisible costs of collusion. In particular, we show that if the rule determining the collusive outcome has the property that the large (efficient) firm benefits sufficiently more from collusion when industry asymmetries increase, collusion can become more likely when firms are moderately asymmetric.

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Paper provided by Portuguese Competition Authority in its series Working Papers with number 28.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pca:wpaper:28
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  1. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816632, October.
  2. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2012. "Entrepreneurial innovations, competition and competition policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 488-506.
  3. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Lars Sørgard, 2006. "National versus international mergers in unionized oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 212-233, 03.
  4. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 2001. "Endogenous mergers in concentrated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1213-1244, September.
  5. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  6. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
  7. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 2001. "The equilibrium ownership of an international oligopoly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 307-333, April.
  8. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  9. Rothschild, R., 1999. "Cartel stability when costs are heterogeneous," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 717-734, July.
  10. Helder Vasconcelos, 2005. "Tacit Collusion, Cost Asymmetries, and Mergers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 39-62, Spring.
  11. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, October.
  12. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  13. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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