We investigate the effects of passive backward acquisitions in their efficient upstream supplier on downstream firms’ ability to collude in a dynamic game of price competition with homogeneous goods. We find that passive backward acquisitions impede downstream collusion. The main driver of our finding is that a passive backward acquisition secures an acquirer from zero continuation profits after a breakdown of collusion. This anti-collusive effect cannot be outweighed by a lower collusive price that is set by the cartel to increase the acquirer’s profit from its claim on the upstream margin.
- tacit collusion
- passive backward acquisitions
- Bertrand competition