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Mergers and Business Model Assimilation: Evidence from Low-Cost Airlines Takeovers

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Abstract

This paper examines mergers that lead to an almost immediate replacement of the target firm’s business model in favor of that of the acquiring firm. We examine the post-merger behavior of the two leading European dedicated low-cost airlines, EasyJet and Ryanair, each acquiring another low-cost airline, respectively Go Fly and Buzz. We find that both takeovers had an immediate and sustained impact on both the pricing structures and the extent of inter-temporal price schedules used on the acquired routes, with early booking fares noticeably reduced and only very late booking fares increased. The analysis suggests that the takeovers had a net beneficial effect as a consequence of the introduction of the acquiring firms’ business models and associated yield management pricing systems. .

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