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Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of Ready-to-Eat Cereal

  • Aviv Nevo

    (Economics Department, University of California)

Traditional merger analysis, based on market definition and use of concentration measures to infer potential anti-competitive effects, is problematic and difficult to implement when evaluating mergers in industries with differentiated products. This paper discusses an alternative which consists of a front-end estimation of demand and back-end use of a model of post-merger conduct to simulate the competitive effects of a merger. I discuss and demonstrate the use of different methods of estimating demand. Furthermore, I show how the estimated demand parameters can be used to compute the post-merger price equilibrium (rather than just an approximation to it) and changes in welfare. The methodology is applied to two recent mergers and two hypothetical mergers in the ready-to-eat cereal industry. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of the model used in front-end estimation and the computation of equilibrium in determining the competitive effects of a merger.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0303004.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0303004
Note: 59 pages, Adobe.pdf
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
  2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  3. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  4. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-42, March.
  5. Werden, Gregory J., 1997. "Simulating The Effects Of Differentiated Products Mergers: A Practitioners' Guide," Proceedings: Strategy and Policy in the Food System: Emerging Issues, June 20-21, 1996, Washington, D.C. 25942, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
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  7. Aviv Nevo, 1998. "A Research Assistant's Guide to Random Coefficients Discrete Choice Models of Demand," NBER Technical Working Papers 0221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
  9. Werden, G.J., 1992. "The History of Antitrust Market Delineation," Papers 92-8, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  10. 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.
  11. Nevo, Aviv, 1997. "Measuring Market Power Using Discrete Choice Models Of Demand: An Application To The Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Proceedings: Strategy and Policy in the Food System: Emerging Issues, June 20-21, 1996, Washington, D.C. 25944, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
  12. Trajtenberg, Manuel, 1989. "The Welfare Analysis of Product Innovations, with an Application to Computed Tomography Scanners," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 444-79, April.
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  21. Baker, Jonathan B & Baresnahan, Timothy F, 1985. "The Gains from Merger or Collusion in Product-differentiated Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 427-44, June.
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  23. 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.
  24. Daniel McFadden, 1977. "Modelling the Choice of Residential Location," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 477, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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