What the Reynolds-Lorillard Merger Means for the Tobacco Industry
However, the standard measurement of what is good and bad in M&A becomes complicated when the product is tobacco. “If this were a classic monopoly/antitrust issue where the only consequence of a merger was a higher selling price, that would be good for public health because, at a higher price, fewer people would smoke,” says Pauly, a Wharton professor of health care management.
The usual argument for antitrust is that low prices are good for consumers, but that is only true if the item being sold is beneficial to the buyer, Pauly notes. “While there would be financial harm to smokers from a merger that raised prices, they would be healthier if not wealthier.” If the combined entity achieves lower production costs or “engages in more effective selling,” it will increase not just profits but also tobacco use, which would be “bad for health.” In order to mitigate those effects, Pauly suggests that antitrust regulators could require Reynolds-Lorillard to undertake public health programs, such as anti-smoking campaigns for young people, as part of a deal to approve the merger.
hum, vous ne trouvez pas que c’est un peu léger comme argument ?