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In many territories (including the US and the EU), prospective mergers need to be considered in advance by competition authorities. In this video, VOLKER NOCKE analyzes some of the factors that those authorities weigh up when coming to their decisions. Focusing on mergers’ unilateral effects (competitive effects in the absence of collusion among firms) and employing both theoretical and empirical methods, the research highlights several issues. Among the most striking is that substantial synergies are required for consumers not to be harmed, even in mergers between smaller firms. Nocke’s work provides important food for thought, not only for academics, but also for competition authorities and antitrust practitioners in both Germany and abroad.


Volker Nocke is a Professor of Economics and Chair of Microeconomics at the University of Mannheim and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Surrey. Completing his PhD at LSE in 1999, Nocke has held full-time research positions at the University of Oxford and UCLA and visiting fellowships at Harvard and the Toulouse School of Economics. His main research interests include industrial organization, international trade and applied microeconomic theory. Editor of the Journal of Economic Theory, Nocke’s expertise has also seen him take up advisory roles for organizations including the UK Competition Authority (2007-14), the European Commission (2013-17) and the European Economic Association (2014-18).


University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

For generations, the University of Mannheim has been preparing students to take on leadership roles in business, academia, and society. One of the university’s strengths in this task is its profile, which is characterized by the economic and social sciences. It is in these fields that the University of Mannheim has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top 20 European research institutions. Key focuses of Mannheim researchers include decision-making processes and elections, governance, regulation, competition and innovation, migration and multilingualism, and the culture of change. The campus surrounding Mannheim’s baroque palace is a place where bright minds from across the globe come together to learn, discuss, research, and prepare to make their mark on the world.
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Original publication

Concentration screens for horizontal mergers

Nocke Volker and Whinston Michael D
Published in 2020