Effects of mergers and acquisitions on market equilibrium performance measures for processed milk market in Kenya
Chege, Patrick Nderitu
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The evaluation of the mergers and acquisitions effects on the main equilibrium performance measures is essential to the understanding of the competition policy dynamics in a market with few players. There is need for adoption of a robust mergers analysis model to address the shortcoming of the traditional SSNIP model which only focuses of prices and leaving out other important aspects of mergers and acquisitions. This study aimed to determining the effects of the mergers and acquisitions on market prices, consumer welfare, and aggregate profit of the merging firms and those of the non-merging firms and therefore answering the question on the overall effect of mergers and acquisitions on the equilibrium performance measures on milk market using data from all the 34 licensed and active milk processors in Kenya. A new model of analysis as developed from the Canadian Competition Policy maker i.e. The Canadian Competition Policy Merger Simulation Model was used. The study found that mergers and acquisitions lead to increase in market shares of the merging firms. Their non-merging counterparts also record a significant increase in their market shares after mergers and acquisitions have taken place even though they are not directly involved in the merger or acquisition. Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, or HHI which is a measure of the size of the firms in relation to the industrial and an indicator of competition and the concentration ratio (CR4) of the four largest firms in the industry increased. The study also found that mergers and acquisitions have a significant effect on product price. From the findings, the study concludes that mergers and acquisition not only leads to increase in market shares of both merging and non-merging firms but also creates market dominance due to reduction in the number of market players in the industry. This firms ends up dictating major terms of trade affecting different equilibrium measures such as product prices, volume of output released in the market, quantity produced and the social welfare. Therefore there is need for all competition policy practitioners to carry out robust analysis for proposed mergers or acquisitions before approval. However, due to the short-comings of the Canadian Competition Policy merger Simulation Model where only companies with a market share of one percent and above can be used, a mixed model approach can be used to help arrive to near accurate conclusions.
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