The purpose of this paper is to consider the effects of the mergers in the electric power industry during the inter-war period in Japan, based on the case of Tokyo Electric Light Co. (TELC). The foci of our analysis are the formation of a largearea electric supply network and the change in the company's performance. Through the 1920's, the aim of the mergers of the TELC changed. In the beginning of 1920's, the firm consolidated the electric power companies that supplied the industrial areas of Tokyo and its surrounding environments. The purpose of these mergers was to secure access to the electric power demand from which growth was expected. Afterwards, because TELC urgently needed to increase its electric power capacity to meet the greater demand, the firm acquired electric power companies with large-scale hydroelectric power plants one after another. Subsequently, in the latter half of 1920's, when an oversupply of the electric power became strong, TELC merged with three electric power companies that owned wide supply districts. Though the purpose of the mergers was different depending on time, the equipment and facilities obtained by TELC through the various mergers worked to expand the company's electric supply network. Toward this end, the company actively improved existing power lines and substations and built new ones in order to tie organically each power plant together. As a result, in the latter half of 1920's, achievements in cost reductions at each stage (transmission, transformation, delivery) of the supply of electric power were made possible due to progress made in the electric power ream system and through the possession of an advantageous supply district with a high customer-density.
The task of this article is to investigate the electrical business strategies of the Ganz Works in the era of the second industrial revolution. The Ganz Works established the electrical department in 1878. The main strategies of the Works were adoption of the alternating current technology by employing the talented young engineers, tie-up with the banks and foreign capitals that had been gradually strengthened through the business expansion, and reinforcement of the enterprise capability through the affiliation of the enterprise customers such as power plants and electric railways that had been realized by raising the outside funds. The Ganz Works had exhibited and demonstrated its own products in the international exhibitions, and also had collected the up-to-date technological knowledge there. They always tried to introduce and develop the new technology. As a result, the Works became one of the pioneers in the development of generator, transformer, motor, electric locomotive and others. The Ganz Works raised funds from various sources, such as several banks in the Dual Monarchy including the Hungarian general Credit-Bank, the German Loewe Concern and so on. The Ganz Works had depended on the foreign markets from the beginning because of the narrowness of the Hungarian domestic market. The Works had expanded its business into Austria and Italy, as for they seemed to have aimed at cutting the administration costs by investing in the countries that were close to their own country from the geographical and the political points of view. Though the electrical industry had achieved the dynamic development in the late 19th century, there were few enterprises that had succeeded in making a big spurt. The case of Ganz Works can be ranked among the rare successful cases in the world.