What Makes a Good Merger? An Analysis of Merger Efficiencies in the U.S. Bottled Water Industry
39 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 8, 2018
I quantify efficiencies that were created following a horizontal merger between Coca-Cola and Glaceau, the manufacturer of Vitaminwater and Smartwater, in the U.S. premium bottled water market. I estimate a structural demand and supply model where manufacturers choose advertising, product variety (number of UPCs) and wholesale prices, and I allow for several types of efficiencies. With counterfactual simulations, I show how marginal cost, product variety fixed cost, and advertising fixed cost efficiencies affected equilibrium market outcomes. I find that, compared to a "no merger" baseline in year 2009, the merger reduced the prices of Glaceau products by 3.5%-5.2% and increased product varieties by 18.8%-35.8%, advertising of Vitaminwater by 53.9%. Besides, the merger increased market shares of Glaceau products by 40.1%-60.7% and raised consumer surplus by about 22%. These results suggest that, despite a recent focus on mergers that appear to have had negative consequences, some mergers yield benefits.
Keywords: Horizontal Merger, Merger Efficiencies, Non-price Competition, Bottled Water Industry
JEL Classification: L1, L4, L6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation