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Title: Competition and merger in network economy
Author: Li, Ke
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 2674
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is concerned about firm’s merger and competition behavior in modern economies in which networks are ever-more important and how to optimize merger policy when network externalities present. As a demand-side economics of scale, network externalities bring benefit to consumers through merger and acquisition if the products from different firms are incompatible. Hence, a merger, which is both socially optimal and privately profitable, can exist without considering the supply-side economies of scale. Merger policy should be revised to be able to recognize these “good” mergers and encourage them. Firm’s incentive to merge is enlarged by network effect because merged entities can benefit from a larger network, which increases the demand for their product. Moreover, merger and acquisition in network world give the merged entities an advantage in competition over the firms who stand outside the merger. One of the explanations for this advantage is merged entity may inherit indirect network resources, for example complementary products producers, from all merged firms, since the mobile of these resources are costly and slow. Acquiring more firms brings more indirect network resources to merged entity, which makes the products of merged entity more valuable to the consumers. Thus the merged entity can charge a higher price or squeeze more market share. Merged entity can obtain locked-in consumers from all merged firms is another explanation of the advantage. For some information products, such as TV subscription, internet access and mobile phone service, consumers need to sign a contract with the service provider and are locked by these contracts for a fixed period. Merged entity may inherit these locked-in consumers and show a larger initial network to the consumers who are not locked at the beginning of the competition. Social planner should be cautious to the merger in network world because network externalities magnify the power of the merger, which may be utilized by the firms to get dominant position.
Supervisor: Mason, Robin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce ; HD28 Management. Industrial Management