Title

Lessons from a failed airline auction

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2006

Abstract

In 1995, USAir placed itself for sale in an English auction. Interestingly, no bids were placed. This does not imply that the available firm is not a valuable acquisition. If losing reduces profits, firms wish to avoid a profit-reducing bidding war. However, in a sealed-bid auction (with no credible nonparticipation commitments), firms place profit-reducing bids in equilibrium. Also, a novelty of our analysis is the specification of the loser's profit rising with the price that the winner pays. This highlights an important explanation of bidding wars because a firm may bid simply to make the eventual winner pay a higher price. (JEL L1, L9). © 2006 Western Economic Association International.

Publication Name

Economic Inquiry

Volume Number

44

First Page

311

Last Page

317

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1093/ei/cbj013

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