Consolidation by merger: the UK beer market

Consolidation by merger: the UK beer market This paper examines the determinants of market structure in the UK brewing industry over 1949–1969. Sutton (Sunk costs and market structure: price competition, advertising, and the evolution of concentration, 1991) points to technology and advertising races as two key drivers of market concentration. This study uses an own-built longitudinal data set of the population of firms and breweries, and reveals the importance of institutional factors in explaining the dynamics of market structure. The practice of tying outlets to brewers and legal restrictions on opening retail outlets, together with a permissive policy towards mergers, made acquisition of medium-sized firms and brewery closure (shortly after acquisition) the main driving mechanism towards industry consolidation. During this period, the number of firms and plants fell sharply (by 74% and 60%, respectively) and production rose (by about 25%), with no firm entry and just one new brewery opening. As a result, concentration increased and the market transformed from a highly fragmented one into a stable oligopoly. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Consolidation by merger: the UK beer market

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-010-9295-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of market structure in the UK brewing industry over 1949–1969. Sutton (Sunk costs and market structure: price competition, advertising, and the evolution of concentration, 1991) points to technology and advertising races as two key drivers of market concentration. This study uses an own-built longitudinal data set of the population of firms and breweries, and reveals the importance of institutional factors in explaining the dynamics of market structure. The practice of tying outlets to brewers and legal restrictions on opening retail outlets, together with a permissive policy towards mergers, made acquisition of medium-sized firms and brewery closure (shortly after acquisition) the main driving mechanism towards industry consolidation. During this period, the number of firms and plants fell sharply (by 74% and 60%, respectively) and production rose (by about 25%), with no firm entry and just one new brewery opening. As a result, concentration increased and the market transformed from a highly fragmented one into a stable oligopoly.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 9, 2010

References

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