Chapter

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Inter‐Firm Technology Agreements in the Global Learning Economy

Lynn K. Mytelka

in The Globalizing Learning Economy

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199258178
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595868 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199258171.003.0008
 Mergers, Acquisitions, and Inter‐Firm Technology Agreements in the Global Learning Economy

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Assesses the contribution of international interfirm technology agreements to enterprise learning and innovation by situating these agreements in the broader context of changes in the structure of industry on a global scale and of competition within it. The first section presents a taxonomy that distinguishes traditional forms of one‐way interfirm agreements from two‐way collaborative partnerships in research and development (R&D), production, and distribution, and illustrates the way in which the latter have contributed to joint knowledge production and sharing in industries as diverse as information technology, biopharmaceuticals, and automobiles. The second section explores in greater depth the role that R&D‐consortia play in strengthening the potential for innovation, particularly in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises, and in industries undergoing a process of catch‐up; as firms encounter each other across multiple technology partnerships, opportunities for learning each other's strategies also increase and so, too, do the incentives for collusion. The third section draws a distinction between the static barriers to entry that result from mergers and acquisitions and traditional forms of oligopoly, and the dynamic entry barriers that are made possible through the emergence of knowledge‐based networked oligopolies on a global scale. These, the last section argues, have the potential to become powerful selection mechanisms that create differential access to learning across firms and geographical space.

Keywords: acquisitions; collaboration; firms; globalization; industries; knowledge; mergers; oligopoly; technology; technology agreements

Chapter.  7123 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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