Arms Race or Detente? How Inter-Firm Alliance Announcements Change the Stock Market Valuation of Rivals
37 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2009 Last revised: 30 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 16, 2009
Most prior event studies find that the announcement of a new alliance is accompanied by a positive stock market response for the partners. This result has usually been interpreted as evidence for the prevailing view that alliances are effective vehicles for partners to acquire or access new skills and thus become stronger competitors. However, partners should also earn positive abnormal returns if alliances are used to shape competitive interactions, attenuating competitive intensity industry-wide.
In this study we disentangle these different mechanisms by examining how alliance announcements affect the stock market's evaluation of allying firms' rivals: If an alliance is expected to make partner firms more competitive, this should lead to negative abnormal returns for partners' rivals; if an alliance is expected to facilitate a reduction in competitive intensity, this should lead to positive abnormal returns for rivals. Results from an event study analysis of R&D alliances in the telecommunications and electronics industries during 1996-2004 provide evidence consistent with competition attenuation in some alliances. Our research thus challenges the increasingly narrow focus on learning and resource accumulation through alliances, and calls for broader consideration of the roles and effects of collaboration, both for individual firms and for industry structure.
Keywords: Alliances, Joint ventures, Event study, Industry structure
JEL Classification: M1, L22, L63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation