Mergers in the food retailing sector: An empirical investigation

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18 Citations (Scopus)


We address the problem of merger evaluation, for competition policy purposes, in the retailing sector. The likely effects of a possible merger are analysed ex ante. The novelty of the paper lies in the inclusion of downstream and upstream market power effects on the retailers. Also, it provides an empirical application to the Portuguese food retailing market. The effects of additional concentration on prices are estimated, as well as the price reduction insiders are likely to obtain via an improved bargaining position. The final effect on prices depends on how these cost reductions are reflected in insiders' prices, i.e., on the pass-through rate. For realistic values of this rate we find that the merger in question will most likely increase consumer prices and, therefore, should not be allowed on an antitrust legislation basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-468
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Buyer power
  • Food retailing
  • Horizontal merger


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