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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An examination of the collusion hypothesis using Canadian horizontal mergers Smistad, Rikard Englund


The objective of this thesis is to examine the traditional structure-conduct-performance (SCP) paradigm as it applies to current Canadian merger policy and to Canadian merger activity during the period January 1964 to December 1983. The SCP paradigm postulates that with increasing industry concentration there will be increased incentives for firms within the industry to engage in anti-competitive, collusive behavior. Since successful collusion increases product prices, the SCP paradigm implies that horizontal mergers, which by definition increase concentration, will generate increased industry-wide profits. Thus, horizontal mergers should benefit not only the merger participants, but also the product market rivals of the merging firms. This hypothesis is examined using a sample of Canadian horizontal mergers in oil and gas, mining and manufacturing industries and a "control" sample of non-horizontal mergers taking place in the same industries. The results do not support the collusion hypothesis postulated by the SCP paradigm but are consistent with the theory that Canadian mergers are motivated by perceived economic efficiencies.

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