Merger profitability and trade policy
[Fusionen und Handelspolitik]
We study the profitability and welfare effects of merger in a strategic trade policy environment. Merger changes the strategic trade policy equilibrium. We show that merger can be profitable and welfare enhancing here, even though it is not profitable in a laissez-faire economy. A key element is the change in the governments’ incentives to give subsidies to their local firms. We apply the results to the merger between Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas, where subsidies are a constant matter of debate. Our theory explains why the merger was profitable for Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas, why Airbus Industries opposed the merger, why the US authorities agreed to the merger, and why the EU competition authorities opposed it.
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