Working Paper No. 1199

Threatening to Buy: Private Equity Buyouts and Antitrust Policy

Published: February 6, 2018Pages: 6Keywords: Antitrust policy; M&As; Private equity; Temporary ownershipJEL-codes: G32; G34; L13; L22; L40
Published version

Threatening to Buy: Private Equity Buyouts and Antitrust Policy Pehr-Johan Norbäck, Lars Persson and Joacim Tåg


Private equity firms (PE firms) have become common owners of established firms in concentrated markets. We show that the threat of a PE acquisition can trigger incumbent mergers in an otherwise mergerstable industry. This can help antitrust authorities maximize consumer surplus because previously privately unprofitable  but consumer surplus-enhancing – mergers now take place. We thus predict that merger waves among incumbents should follow the development of a local PE industry.

Pehr-Johan Norbäck

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Lars Persson

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lars.persson@ifn.se

Joacim Tåg

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Ph: +46 8 665 4524
joacim.tag@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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