DP2740 To Merge or to License: Implications for Competition Policy

Author(s): Ramon FaulĂ­-Oller, Joel SandonĂ­s
Publication Date: March 2001
Keyword(s): Competition Policy, Merger, Patent Licensing
JEL(s): D43, D45, L41
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2740

The optimal competition policy when licensing is an alternative to a merger, which has the intention of transferring a superior technology, and is derived in a differentiated goods duopoly, as in the cases of Cournot and Bertrand competition. We show that whenever both royalties and fixed fees are feasible, mergers should not be allowed, which fits the prescription of the US Horizontal Merger Guidelines. In contrast, when only one instrument is feasible, be it fixed fees or royalties, the possibility of licensing cannot be used as a definitive argument against mergers.