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Horizontal mergers and uncertainty

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  • Le Pape, Nicolas
  • Zhao, Kai

Abstract

Some path-breaking work on mergers takes efficiency gains for granted, or assumes that firms have perfect knowledge when taking merger decisions. In practice, firms and competition authorities cannot know exact future efficiency gains, prior to merger consummation. This paper analyzes horizontal mergers when the output decision-making process is sequential. A key assumption is that mergers create uncertainty on productivity and informational asymmetry between firms. The paper also studies whether the merged firm has interest to reveal the information about its own cost to competing firms. In terms of Merger Approval, the paper emphasizes the timing of regulatory intervention and distinguishes two different merger control interventions (ex ante or ex post enforcement). Since prudent competition authorities (using ex ante intervention) should take the restrictive policy, the framework illustrates why US Horizontal Merger Guidelines and EC Merger Regulation are biased in favor of the consumers' interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Le Pape, Nicolas & Zhao, Kai, 2013. "Horizontal mergers and uncertainty," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-62, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201362
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gamal Atallah, 2015. "Multi-Firm Mergers with Leaders and Followers," Working Papers E1501E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    merger; competition authorities; uncertainty; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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