nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2009‒01‒24
four papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. The Impact of Horizontal Mergers on Rivals: Gains to Being Left Outside a Merger By Joseph A. Clougherty; Tomaso Duso
  2. Bertrand's price competition in markets with fixed costs By Alejandro Saporiti; German Coloma
  3. Cournot-Bertrand competition in a unionized mixed duopoly By Kangsik, Choi
  4. Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals By Michael R. Baye; Joshua D. Wright

  1. By: Joseph A. Clougherty; Tomaso Duso
    Abstract: It is commonly perceived that firms do not want to be outsiders to a merger between competitor firms. We instead argue that it is beneficial to be a non-merging rival firm to a large horizontal merger. Using a sample of mergers with expert-identification of relevant rivals and the event-study methodology, we find rivals generally experience positive abnormal returns at the merger announcement date. Further, we find that the stock reaction of rivals to merger events is not sensitive to merger waves; hence, ‘future acquisition probability’ does not drive the positive abnormal returns of rivals. We then build a conceptual framework that encompasses the impact of merger events on both merging and rival firms in order to provide a schematic to elicit more information on merger type. <br> <br> <i>ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Die Wirkung von horizontalen Zusammenschlüssen auf Wettbewerber: Der Nutzen einer Außenseiterposition bei Fusionen) <br>Es ist gemeinhin bekannt, dass Unternehmen nicht Außenseiter einer Fusion zwischen eigenen Wettbewerbern sein wollen. In dieser Arbeit zeigen wir, dass es für Unternehmen durchaus vorteilhaft sein kann, sich an einem großen horizontalen Zusammenschluss nicht zu beteiligen. Anhand einer Datenbank von großen Fusionen, in denen die relevanten Wettbewerber der fusionierenden Unternehmen von Experten der Europäischen Kommission identifiziert worden sind, und Mithilfe einer Ereignisstudienmethode, bestätigen wir empirisch, dass Wettbewerber durchschnittlich positive abnormale Gewinne bei der Ankündigung eines Zusammenschlusses erzielen. Darüber hinaus stellen wir fest, dass die Reaktion der Aktienkurse von Konkurrenten bei der Ankündigung eines Zusammenschlusses nicht anfällig für Fusionswellen ist, und dass die abnormalen Gewinne nicht von der "künftigen Firmenübernahmewahrscheinlichkeit" getrieben sind. Schließlich wird in der Studie ein konzeptioneller Rahmen entwickelt, der die Auswirkungen der Fusion sowohl auf die fusionierenden Unternehmen und als auch auf die Wettbewerber zusammenfasst, um die Art des Zusammenschlusses besser identifizieren zu können.<i>
    Keywords: Rivals, Mergers, Acquisitions, Event-Study
    JEL: G34 G14 M20 L22
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Alejandro Saporiti (University of Manchester); German Coloma (Universidad del CEMA)
    Abstract: We analyze Bertrand's price competition in a homogenous good market with a fixed cost and an increasing marginal cost (i.e., with variable returns to scale). If the fixed cost is avoidable, we show that the non-subadditivity of the cost function at the output corresponding to the oligopoly break-even price, denoted by D(pL(n)), is su±cient to guarantee that the market supports an equilibrium in pure strategies with two or more active firms supplying at least D(pL(n)). Conversely, the existence of a pure strategy equilibrium ensures that the cost function is not subadditive at every output greater than or equal to D(pL(n)). As a by-product, the latter implies that the average cost cannot be decreasing over the range of outputs mentioned before. In addition, we also prove that the existence of a price-taking equilibrium is sufficient, but not necessary, for Bertrand's price competition to possess an equilibrium in pure strategies. This provides a simple existence result for the case where the fixed cost is fully unavoidable.
    JEL: D43 L13
    Date: 2008–09
  3. By: Kangsik, Choi
    Abstract: We investigate a differentiated mixed duopoly in which private and public firms can choose to strategically set prices or quantities by facing a union bargaining process. For the case of a unionized mixed duopoly, only public firm is able to choose a type of contract based on the degree of substitutability in the equilibrium. Focusing on the case of substitute goods, we show that Bertrand (respectively, Cournot) competition entails higher social welfare than Cournot (respectively, Bertrand) competition if the degree of substitutability is relatively small (respectively, large). Thus, there are multiple Nash equilibria in the contract stage of the game. As a result, Singh and Vives' ranking of social welfare is reversed in a range of substitution values for which it is a dominant strategy for public firm to choose either quantity or price contracts.
    Keywords: Wage Bargaining; Union; Cournot-Bertrand Competition; Mixed Duopoly.
    JEL: J51 L13 C7 D43 H44
    Date: 2008–09–25
  4. By: Michael R. Baye (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business); Joshua D. Wright (George Mason University School of Law)
    Abstract: Modern antitrust litigation sometimes involves complex expert economic and econometric analysis. While this boom in the demand for economic analysis and expert testimony has clearly improved the welfare of economists—and schools offering basic economic training to judges—little is known about the empirical effects of economic complexity or judges' economic training on decision-making in antitrust litigation. We use a unique data set on antitrust litigation in district courts during 1996—2006 to examine whether economic complexity impacts decisions in antitrust cases, and thereby provide a novel test of the frequently asserted hypothesis that antitrust analysis has become too complex for generalist judges. We also examine the impact of one institutional response to economic complexity - basic economic training by judges. We find that decisions involving the evaluation of complex economic evidence are significantly more likely to be appealed, and decisions of judges trained in basic economics are significantly less likely to be appealed than are decisions by their untrained counterparts. Our results are robust to a variety of controls, including the type of case, circuit, and the political party of the judge. Our tentative conclusion, based on a revealed preference argument that views a party’s appeal decision as an indication that the district court got the economics wrong, is that there is support for the hypothesis that some antitrust cases are too complicated for generalist judges.
    Keywords: antitrust, Daubert, complexity, economic training, expert witness
    JEL: A2 K21 K41 L4
    Date: 2008–11

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