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Merger control in differentiated product industries

  • Franco Mariuzzo
  • Patrick P. Walsh
  • Ciara Whelan

Thresholds defined on the level and change in the HHI (Herfindahl-Hirschmann Index) applied to market shares seem to be the main instrument to select notified mergers for investigation in both the EU and US. We question the use of such a selection rule in differentiated products industries. We propose the use of a structural approach to apply HHI thresholds based on profit shares rather than market shares. We illustrate our point using product data for Retail Carbonated Soft Drinks (Price, Market Share and Characteristics). We estimate company (product) mark-ups consistent with a structural model of equilibrium, using demand primitives from a Nested Logit model and a Random Coefficient model. We provide an example where the HHI thresholds based on profit shares identify potentially damaging mergers not captured by applying thresholds to output shares, or conversely, identify mergers of no concern that would be selected on the basis of output shares.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/948
File Function: First version, 2005
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200508.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200508
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  1. Patrick Paul Walsh & Franco Mariuzzo, 2005. "Embedding Consumer Taste for Location into a Structural Model of Equilibrium," Trinity Economics Papers tep3, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  2. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
  3. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-42, March.
  4. Levinsohn, James & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Scholarly Articles 3436404, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-76, September.
  6. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2003. "Firm Size and Market Power in Carbonated Soft Drinks," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 283-299, December.
  7. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Quantifying the Effects from Horizontal Mergers in European Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. repec:adr:anecst:y:1994:i:34 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Walsh, Patrick Paul & Whelan, Ciara, 1999. "Modelling Price Dispersion as an Outcome of Competition in the Irish Grocery Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 325-43, September.
  10. Jerry Hausman & Gregory Leonard & J. Douglas Zona, 1994. "Competitive Analysis with Differentiated Products," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 34, pages 143-157.
  11. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  12. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  13. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "A Practitioner's Guide to Estimation of Random-Coefficients Logit Models of Demand," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 513-548, December.
  14. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
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