The Sale of Data: Learning Synergies Before M&As

49 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2023

See all articles by Antoine Dubus

Antoine Dubus

ETH Zürich

Patrick Legros

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Date Written: December 7, 2022


Firms may share information to discover potential synergies between their data sets and algorithms, eventually leading to more efficient mergers and acquisitions (M&A) decisions. However, as pointed out by Arrow, information sharing also modifies the competitive balance when companies do not merge, and a firm may be reluctant to share information with potential rivals. Under general conditions, we show that firms benefit from (partially) sharing information. More sharing of information may increase industry expected profits both when there is head-to-head competition and when there is a M&A. Compared to a laissez-faire situation, a regulator in charge of allowing or refusing the M&A may decrease or increase the level of information sharing, as well as consumer surplus. A regulator who can also control the level of information sharing will allow firms to share information.

Keywords: Synergies; Mergers; Sale of Data; Incomplete Information; Antitrust; Privacy

JEL Classification: G34; K21; L1; L21; L24; L5; L86

Suggested Citation

Dubus, Antoine and Legros, Patrick, The Sale of Data: Learning Synergies Before M&As (December 7, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Antoine Dubus (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich ( email )

LEE G104
Leonhardstrasse 21

Patrick Legros

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) ( email )

CP 132 Av FD Roosevelt 50
Brussels, Brussels 1050

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