March 21, 2018 

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VERTICAL MERGER: The consolidation under a single ownership of two separately-owned businesses that have an input-output relationship, in which the output of one firm is the input of another. An example of a vertical merger would be a soft drink company merging with a sugar company to form a single firm. A vertical merger should be contrasted with horizontal merger--two competing firms in the same industry that sell the same products; and conglomerate merger--two firms in totally, completely separate industries.

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HERFINDAHL INDEX: A measure of concentration of the production in an industry that's calculated as the sum of the squares of market shares for each firm. This is an alternative method of summarizing the degree to which an industry is oligopolistic and the relative concentration of market power held by the largest firms in the industry. The Herfindahl index gives a better indication of the relative market control of the largest firms than can be found with the four-firm and eight-firm concentration ratios.

     See also | market share | oligopoly | concentration ratio | market control | antitrust laws |

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A curve that graphically represents the relation between marginal factor cost incurred by a perfectly competitive firm for hiring an input and the quantity of input employed. A profit-maximizing perfectly competitive firm hires the quantity of input found at the intersection of the marginal factor cost curve and marginal revenue product curve. The marginal factor cost curve for a perfectly competitive firm with no market control is horizontal.

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