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Electricity Market Mergers with Endogenous Forward Contracting

Author

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  • Brown, David P.

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Eckert, Andrew

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We analyze the effects of electricity market mergers in an environment where firms endogenously choose their level of forward contracts prior to competing in the wholesale market. We apply our model to Alberta's wholesale electricity market. Firms have an incentive to reduce their forward contract coverage in the more concentrated post-merger equilibrium. We demonstrate that endogenous forward contracting magnifies the price increasing impacts of mergers, resulting in larger reductions in consumer surplus. Current market screening procedures used to analyze electricity mergers consider firms' pre-existing forward commitments. We illustrate that ignoring the endogenous nature of firms' forward commitments can yield biased conclusions regarding the impacts of market structure changes such as mergers. In particular, we show that the price effects of mergers can be largely underestimated when forward contract quantities are held at pre-merger levels. Whether the profits of the merged firm are greater with fixed or endogenous forward quantities is ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, David P. & Eckert, Andrew, 2016. "Electricity Market Mergers with Endogenous Forward Contracting," Working Papers 2016-6, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2016_006
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    Cited by:

    1. Arega Getaneh Abate & Rossana Riccardi & Carlos Ruiz, 2021. "Contracts in Electricity Markets under EU ETS: A Stochastic Programming Approach," Papers 2104.15062, arXiv.org.
    2. Chen Zhang & Wei Yan, 2019. "Spot Market Mechanism Design for the Electricity Market in China Considering the Impact of a Contract Market," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-23, March.
    3. David P. Brown and Andrew Eckert, 2020. "Imperfect Competition in Electricity Markets with Renewable Generation: The Role of Renewable Compensation Policies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 61-88.
    4. Hesamzadeh, M.R. & Biggar, D.R. & Bunn, D.W. & Moiseeva, E., 2020. "The impact of generator market power on the electricity hedge market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Brown, David P. & Eckert, Andrew & Eckert, Heather, 2018. "Carbon pricing with an output subsidy under imperfect competition: The case of Alberta's restructured electricity market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 102-123.
    6. David P. Brown & Andrew Eckert, 2018. "Analyzing the Impact of Electricity Market Structure Changes and Mergers: The Importance of Forward Commitments," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-137, February.
    7. Nathan H. Miller & Joseph U. Podwol, 2020. "Forward Contracts, Market Structure and the Welfare Effects of Mergers," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 364-407, June.
    8. Van Moer, Geert, 2019. "Electricity market competition when forward contracts are pairwise efficient," MPRA Paper 96660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Brown, David P. & Sappington, David E.M., 2020. "Vertical Integration and Capacity Investment in the Electricity Sector," Working Papers 2020-5, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity; Mergers; Forward Contracts; Market Power; Regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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