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Cross-Border Price Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions -- A Quantitative Framework for Competition Policy

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  • Breinlich, Holger
  • Nocke, Volker
  • Schutz, Nicolas

Abstract

Decisions of national competition authorities have important effects on other jurisdictions. We provide a framework to quantify the domestic and cross-border effects of mergers, and to draw conclusions for the coordination of national merger policies. We develop a two-country model with many sectors. In each sector, producers vary in terms of their marginal costs, and are engaged in Cournot competition. We allow for profitable mergers to take place subject to the non-violation of a given national competition policy. Because of trade costs and perceived differences in qualities between domestic and foreign products, mergers may have different consumer surplus effects in the home and the foreign country. We calibrate the model using data for the year 2002 for 167 manufacturing sectors in the U.S. and Canada. We choose parameters to match relevant moments in the data, including industry sales, concentration ratios and trade flows. We find that in the majority of industries a merger approval policy based on domestic consumer surplus is too restrictive from the viewpoint of the neighboring country. We also show that adopting a supra-national policy that approves a merger if and only if it increases the sum of consumer surplus in the two countries would lead to significant gains for U.S. consumers but hurt consumers in Canada. These results highlight the difficulties in coordinating national competition policies in a way acceptable to all participating countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Breinlich, Holger & Nocke, Volker & Schutz, Nicolas, 2013. "Cross-Border Price Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions -- A Quantitative Framework for Competition Policy," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79837, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1995. "Negative Externalities May Cause Delay in Negotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1321-1335, November.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    3. Horn, Henrik & Levinsohn, James, 2001. "Merger Policies and Trade Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 244-276, April.
    4. J. Peter Neary, 2007. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1229-1257.
    5. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    6. di Giovanni, Julian, 2005. "What drives capital flows? The case of cross-border M&A activity and financial deepening," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 127-149, January.
    7. Breinlich, Holger, 2008. "Trade liberalization and industrial restructuring through mergers and acquisitions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 254-266, December.
    8. Martin Pesendorfer, 2005. "Mergers Under Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 661-679, Autumn.
    9. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 1995. "Cyclical Delay in Bargaining with Externalities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 619-637.
    10. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2014. "Acquisitions by Multinationals and Trade Liberalization," Discussion Paper 2014-006, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Duarte Brito & Daniel Magueta, 2014. "Horizontal Mergers, Entry and International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 923-943, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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