Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Multiproduct Mergers and Quality Competition

Author(s): Justin Johnson and Andrew Rhodes

Publication Date: February 2021


Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization

Abstract: We investigate mergers in markets where quality differences between products are central and firms may reposition their product lines by adding or removing products of different qualities following a merger. Such mergers are materially different from those studied in the existing literature. Mergers without synergies may exhibit a product-mix effect which raises consumer surplus, but only when the pre-merger industry structure satisfies certain observable features. Post-merger synergies may lower consumer surplus. The level of, and changes in, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index may give a misleading assessment of how a merger affects consumers. A merger may benefit some outsiders but harm others.

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Bibliographic Reference

Johnson, J and Rhodes, A. 2021. 'Multiproduct Mergers and Quality Competition'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.