Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 17/2013: Upstream Merger in a Successive Oligopoly: Who Pays the Price?

Øivind Anti Nilsen (), Lars Sørgard () and Simen A. Ulsaker ()
Additional contact information
Øivind Anti Nilsen: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Lars Sørgard: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Simen A. Ulsaker: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: This study develops and uses a successive oligopoly model, with an unobservable non-linear tariff between upstream and downstream firms, to analyze the possible anti-competitive effects of an upstream merger. We nd that an upstream merger may lead to higher average prices paid by downstream firms, but that there is no change in the prices paid by consumers. The model is tested empirically on data for an upstream merger in the Norwegian food sector (specifically, the market for eggs). Consistent with the theoretical predictions of the model, we find that the merger had no effect on consumer prices, but led to higher average prices from the downstream to the upstream firm.

Keywords: Upstream merger; non-linear prices; Vertical con- tracts.

JEL-codes: K21; L41

58 pages, December 13, 2013

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