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Uncertain Efficiency Gains and Merger Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Mariana Cunha

    () (FEP-UP, School of Economics and Management, University of Porto)

  • Paula Sarmento

    () (FEP-UP, CEF-UP)

  • Hélder Vasconcelos

    () (FEP-UP, CEF-UP, CEPR)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of uncertainty in merger control and in merger decisions. In a Cournot setting, we consider that mergers may give rise to uncertain endogenous efficiency gains and that every merger has to be submitted for approval to the Antitrust Authority (AA). We assume that both the AA and the firms in the industry face the same uncertainty about the future efficiency gains induced by the merger. It is shown that an increase in the degree of uncertainty benefits both insider and outsider firms but also the consumers. Further, when uncertainty is high, there is a greater likelihood that firms propose a merger to the AA and that the AA accepts it. Interestingly, however, although uncertainty enhances merger approval chances, it also decreases merger's stability, by increasing outsiders' incentives to free-ride on it.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana Cunha & Paula Sarmento & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2014. "Uncertain Efficiency Gains and Merger Policy," FEP Working Papers 527, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:527
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    File URL: http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/workingpapers/wp527.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Le Pape, Nicolas & Zhao, Kai, 2014. "Horizontal mergers and uncertainty," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-31.
    2. Thomas Giebe & Miyu Lee, 2015. "Competitors In Merger Control: Shall They Be Merely Heard Or Also Listened To?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-011, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency gains; Merger control; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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