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Market power, efficiencies, and entry: Evidence from an airline merger

  • Hüschelrath, Kai
  • Müller, Kathrin

We investigate the competitive effects of the merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines (2009) in the domestic U.S. airline industry. Applying fixed effects regression models we find that the transaction led to short term price increases of about 11 percent on overlapping routes and about 10 percent on routes which experienced a merger-induced switch of the operating carrier. Over a longer period, however, our analysis reveals that both merger efficiencies and post-merger entry by competitors initiated a downward trend in prices leaving consumers with a small net price increase of about 3 percent on the affected routes.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-070.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12070
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  1. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1998. "The Entry-Inducing Effects of Horizontal Mergers: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 525-43, December.
  3. Jan K. Brueckner & Stef Proost, 2009. "Carve-Outs Under Airline Antitrust Immunity," Working Papers 091004, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  4. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Johan Stennek & Frank Verboven, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from Mergers," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  5. Kim, E Han & Singal, Vijay, 1993. "Mergers and Market Power: Evidence from the Airline Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 549-69, June.
  6. Nisvan Erkal & Daniel Piccinin, 2010. "Welfare-Reducing Mergers in Differentiated Oligopolies with Free Entry," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 178-184, 06.
  7. Borenstein, Severin, 1990. "Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 400-404, May.
  8. Luis M. B. Cabral, 2001. "Horizontal Mergers With Free-Entry: Why Cost Efficiencies May Be a Weak Defense and Asset Sales a Poor Remedy," Working Papers 01-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  9. John Kwoka & Evgenia Shumilkina, 2010. "The Price Effect Of Eliminating Potential Competition: Evidence From An Airline Merger," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 767-793, December.
  10. Spector, David, 2003. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1591-1600, December.
  11. Whinston, Michael D., 2007. "Antitrust Policy toward Horizontal Mergers," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  12. Steven N. Kaplan, 2000. "Mergers and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kapl00-1, June.
  13. Froeb, Luke M. & Werden, Gregory J., 1998. "A robust test for consumer welfare enhancing mergers among sellers of a homogeneous product," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 367-369, March.
  14. Steven N. Kaplan, 2000. "Introduction to "Mergers and Productivity"," NBER Chapters, in: Mergers and Productivity, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Volodymyr Bilotkach, 2011. "Multimarket Contact and Intensity of Competition: Evidence from an Airline Merger," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, January.
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