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Remedies vs. Extreme Options in Merger Control

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  • Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus
  • Wey, Christian

Abstract

We investigate how remedies in merger control affect information acquisition by an antitrust agency. We identify conditions under which an ''extreme options'' regime which does not allow for remedies improves information acquisition by the agency which increases consumer surplus. The legislator (''principal'') and the agency share the same objective function with the only exception that the latter must bear information costs. When remedies are not feasible, then the agency's incentive to acquire information is relatively large as a false decision tends to have large adverse effects. When remedies are feasible, the intermediate option does not involve such risks, so that incentives to acquire information decreases. However, our results depend crucially on the institutional environment. In the case of an adversial system, information acquisition incentives are not per se lower if remedies are feasible.

Suggested Citation

  • Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Wey, Christian, 2014. "Remedies vs. Extreme Options in Merger Control," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100397, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc14:100397
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/100397/1/VfS_2014_pid_288.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
    2. Jo Seldeslachts & Joseph A. Clougherty & Pedro Pita Barros, 2009. "Settle for Now but Block for Tomorrow: The Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy Tools," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 607-634, August.
    3. Helder Vasconcelos, 2010. "Efficiency Gains And Structural Remedies In Merger Control," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 742-766, December.
    4. Volker Nocke & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Dynamic Merger Review," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1201-1251.
    5. Andrei Medvedev, 2004. "Structural remedies in merger regulation in a Cournot framework," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp229, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. Froeb, Luke M. & Kobayashi, Bruce H., 2001. "Evidence production in adversarial vs. inquisitorial regimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 267-272, February.
    7. Cabral, Luis M. B., 2003. "Horizontal mergers with free-entry: why cost efficiencies may be a weak defense and asset sales a poor remedy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 607-623, May.
    8. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak, 2010. "Assessing the Efficacy of Structural Merger Remedies: Choosing Between Theories of Harm?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 37(2), pages 83-99, September.
    9. Thibaud Vergé, 2010. "Horizontal Mergers, Structural Remedies, And Consumer Welfare In A Cournot Oligopoly With Assets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 723-741, December.
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    11. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, January.
    12. Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Wey, Christian, 2012. "The effects of remedies on merger activity in oligopoly," DICE Discussion Papers 81, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    13. Sven-Olof Fridolfsson & Johan Stennek, 2005. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits And Raise Share Prices-A Theory Of Preemptive Mergers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1083-1104, September.
    14. Joseph A. Clougherty & Jo Seldeslachts, 2013. "The Deterrence Effects of US Merger Policy Instruments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 1114-1144, October.
    15. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak, 2008. "Assessing the Efficacy of Structural Merger Remedies: Choosing Between Theories of Harm?," Working Papers 08-28, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
    16. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Wey, Christian, 2016. "Evidence production in merger control: The role of remedies," DICE Discussion Papers 217, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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