Format of Original
Mergers and acquisitions research has principally focused on attributes of the acquiring firm and post-acquisition outcomes. To extend our knowledge, we focus on external factors, in particular rival responses, and explore when and how rivals respond to their competitor’s acquisitions. Leveraging the awareness–motivation–capability framework, we predict and find evidence that a rival’s dependence on markets in common with the acquirer, resource similarity between rival and acquirer, and a rival’s organizational slack increase the volume and, in some cases, also the complexity of a rival’s competitive actions following an acquisition. Furthermore, the type of acquisition positively moderates some of these relationships. The results extend our understanding of the influence of mergers and acquisitions on competitive dynamics in the marketplace.