Horizontal Mergers and Product Quality

39 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2015

See all articles by Kurt Richard Brekke

Kurt Richard Brekke

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Luigi Siciliani

University of York

Odd Rune Straume

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Date Written: June 29, 2015

Abstract

We study the effects of horizontal mergers when firms compete on quality and price. Two key factors are identified: (i) the magnitude of variable quality costs, and (ii) the relative magnitudes of cross-quality and cross-price effects on demand. The merging firms will increase (reduce) both quality and price if the degree of competition is sufficiently stronger (weaker) on price than on quality. If variable quality costs are sufficiently small, non-merging firms will respond to a merger by either reducing or increasing both price and quality. Welfare implications are not clear-cut and mergers might improve welfare through endogenous fixed-cost savings.

Keywords: horizontal mergers, quality and price competition

JEL Classification: L130, L150, L410

Suggested Citation

Brekke, Kurt Richard and Siciliani, Luigi and Straume, Odd Rune, Horizontal Mergers and Product Quality (June 29, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5406, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2627046

Kurt Richard Brekke

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Luigi Siciliani

University of York ( email )

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Odd Rune Straume (Contact Author)

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE) ( email )

Campus de Gualtar
Braga, 4710-057
Portugal

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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