1,133 research outputs found

    Economic Analysis and EC Merger Policy

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    political economy; regulation; competition policy

    Advertising bans

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    I show that an advertising ban is more likely to increase -- rather than decrease -- total consumption when advertising does not bring about a large expansion of market demand at given prices and when it increases product differentiation (thus allowing firms to command higher prices). In this case, the main impact of a ban on advertising is to reduce equilibrium prices and thus increase demand. I argue that this is more likely to happen in mature industries where consumer goods are ex--ante (i.e. without advertising) similar and advertising is of the `persuasive' type. The ban is the more likely to increase profits of the firms the weaker the ability of advertising to expand total demand and the less advertising serves to induce product differentiation.Advertising, bans, product differentiation, regulation, tobacco, alcohol

    Buyers’ miscoordination, entry, and downstream competition

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    This paper shows that buyers’ coordination failures might prevent entry in an industry with an incumbent firm and a more efficient potential entrant. If there was a single buyer, or if all buyers formed a central purchasing agency, coordination failures would be avoided and efficient entry would always occur. More generally, exclusion is the less likely the lower the number of buyers. For any given number of buyers, exclusion is the less likely the more fiercely buyers compete in the downstream market. First, intense competition may prevent miscoordination equilibria from arising; second, in cases where miscoordination equilibria still exist, it lowers the maximum price that the incumbent can sustain at such exclusionary equilibriaCountervailing Power; Exclusion; Buyers’ Fragmentation

    A Simple Theory of Predation

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    We propose a simple theory of predatory pricing, based on scale economies and sequential buyers (or markets). The entrant (or prey) needs to reach a critical scale to be successful. The incumbent (or predator) is ready to make losses on earlier buyers so as to deprive the prey of the scale it needs, thus making monopoly profits on later buyers. Several extensions are considered, including markets where scale economies exist because of demand externalities or two-sided market effects, and where markets are characterised by common costs. Conditions under which predation may take place in actual cases are also discussed.Anticompetitive Behaviour, Exclusion, Below-Cost Pricing, Antitrust

    A Simple Theory of Predation

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    We propose a simple theory of predatory pricing, based on incumbency advantages, scale economies and sequential buyers (or markets). The prey needs to reach a critical scale to be successful. The incumbent (or predator) has an initial advantage and is ready to make losses on earlier buyers so as to deprive the prey of the scale the latter needs, thus making monopoly profits on later buyers. Several extensions are considered, including cases where scale economies exist because of demand externalities or two-sided market effects, and where markets are characterized by common costs. Conditions under which predation may take place in actual cases are also discussed.

    Exclusionary Pricing and Rebates When Scale Matters

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    We consider an incumbent firm and a more efficient entrant, both offering a network good to several asymmetric buyers. The incumbent disposes of an installed base, while the entrant has a network of size zero at the outset, and needs to attract a critical mass of buyers to operate. We analyze different price schemes (uniform pricing, implicit price discrimination - or rebates, explicit price discrimination) and show that the schemes which - for given market structure - induce lower equilibrium prices are also those under which the incumbent is more likely to exclude the rival.

    Risk Dominance Selects the Leader: An Experimental Analysis

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    We perform an experimental analysis to test whether the risk dominance prediction is supported by the behavior of laboratory agents, in a 2X 2 coordination game whose equilibria are not Pareto ranked. This type of game arises very often in studies of industrial organization and international trade, and we extract the parameters for the experiment from a vertical product differentiation model with two asymmetric players choosing first qualities and then prices.We show that the higher the degree of asymmetry of the game, the higher the predictive power of the risk dominance criterion.Publicad

    Exclusive dealing, entry, and mergers

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    This paper studies a model where exclusive dealing (ED) can both promote investment and foreclose a more efficient supplier. While investment promotion is usually regarded as a pro-competitive effect of ED, our paper shows that it may be the very reason why a contract that forecloses a more efficient supplier is signed. Absent the effect on investment, the contract would not be signed and foreclosure would not be a concern. For this reason, considering potential foreclosure and investment promotion in isolation and then summing them up may not be a suitable approach to assess the net effect of ED. The paper therefore invites a more cautious attitude towards accepting possible investment promotion arguments as a defence for ED.

    On the Anticompetitive Effect of Exclusive Dealing when Entry by Merger is Possible

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    We extend the literature on exclusive dealing, which assumes that entry can occur only by installing new capacity, by allowing the incumbent and the potential entrant to merge. This uncovers new effects. First, exclusive deals can be used to improve the incumbent's bargaining position in the merger negotiation. Second, the incumbent finds it easier to elicit the buyer's acceptance. Third, exclusive dealing, despite allowing the more efficient technology to find its way into the industry, reduces welfare because (i) it may trigger entry through merger whereas independent entry would be socially optimal, (ii) it leads to a sub-optimal contractual price when the exclusive dealing include a price commitment, (iii) it may deter entry altogether.Technology Transfer; Inefficient Entry; Antitrust; Authority's Behavior
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