Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/76804
Authors: 
Aguzzoni, Luca
Argentesi, Elena
Ciari, Lorenzo
Duso, Tomaso
Tognoni, Massimo
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
DICE Discussion Paper 98
Abstract: 
This paper empirically evaluates the price effects of the merger of two major book retail chains in the UK: Waterstone's and Ottakar's. We employ differences-in-differences techniques and use a rich dataset containing monthly scanner data information on a sample of 200 books sold in 60 stores in 50 different local markets for a period of four years around the merger. Since retail mergers may have either local or national effects (or both) according to the level at which retail chains set prices, we undertake an ex-post assessment of the impact of the merger at both levels. At the local level, we compare the changes in the average price charged before and after the merger in the shops located in overlap areas -i.e. areas where both chains were present before the merger- and in non-overlap areas -i.e. areas where only one chain was present before the merger. At the national level, we employ two distinct control groups to evaluate the merger, namely the competitors and the top-selling titles. We find that the merger did not result in an increase in prices either at the local or at the national level. We also perform heterogeneous treatment effects estimations in order to assess whether the effect of the merger differs along various dimensions of heterogeneity that are present in our data.
Subjects: 
Mergers
Ex-post Evaluation
Book market
Retail sector
JEL: 
K21
L24
L44
D22
O32
ISBN: 
978-3-86304-097-0
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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