Discussion paper

DP17059 Should We Expect Merger Synergies To Be Passed Through to Consumers?

Methods used to predict post-merger outcomes assume that synergies are common knowledge and imply that synergies will be at least partially passed through to consumers, potentially offsetting anticompetitive merger effects. However, the common knowledge assumption is inconsistent with other features of the merger review process and its implications are potentially inconsistent with the evidence of merger retrospectives. We relax the assumption in a simple model of post-merger competition and show that strategic incentives can lead a merged firm to not pass through quite large synergies arising in both horizontal and vertical mergers.

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Citation

Sweeting, A, M Leccese and X Tao (eds) (2022), “DP17059 Should We Expect Merger Synergies To Be Passed Through to Consumers?”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 17059. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17059-0