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Strategic Buyers, Horizontal Mergers and Synergies: An Experimental Investigation

  • Douglas D. Davis


    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Bart J. Wilson


    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, George Mason University)

This paper reports an experiment designed to evaluate interrelationships between strategic buyers, market power and merger-induced synergies. The experiment consists of 40 posted-offer quadropolies. Treatments include the use of simulated or human buyers, seller consolidations and merger-induced fixed cost and unit cost synergies. In the simulated-buyer markets we observe behavior generally consistent with comparative static predictions: prices rise post-merger, and unit (but not fixed) cost synergies may exert some price-moderating effect. The addition of powerful buyers changes results markedly. Although prices are lower in the human buyer markets, outcomes are more variable and predicted comparative static effects are no longer observed.

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Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0601
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  7. Chipty, Tasneem, 1995. "Horizontal Integration for Bargaining Power: Evidence from the Cable Television Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 375-97, Summer.
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  10. Davis, Douglas D & Williams, Arlington W, 1991. "The Hayek Hypothesis in Experimental Auctions: Institutional Effects and Market Power," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 261-74, April.
  11. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
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  16. Horn, H. & Wolinsky, A., 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies And Incentives For Merger," Papers 410, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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  18. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
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  20. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  21. Davis, Douglas D. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "The Exercise of Market Power in Laboratory Experiments," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  22. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
  23. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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  26. Bart Wilson, 1998. "What Collusion? Unilateral Market Power as a Catalyst for Countercyclical Markups," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 133-145, September.
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  32. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
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