30 October 2003

Goldilocks and the three bears – the story of market definition and the cruise mergers

It is generally accepted that market shares alone provide an incomplete basis for competitive assessment, especially in differentiated product settings where they can potentially either understate or overstate the likely competitive impact of a merger. Moreover, any assessment of the likely impact of a merger must also include consideration of supply-side as well as demand-side responses, since these can provide just as important a source of competitive constraint on attempts to raise price post-merger.

This Brief illustrates these points with reference to the investigations undertaken by three separate competition authorities into mergers in the cruise industry.

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