Multilateral Vertical Contracting with an Alternative Supply: The Welfare Effects of a Ban on Price Discrimination

Multilateral Vertical Contracting with an Alternative Supply: The Welfare Effects of a Ban on... Rey and Tirole [Handbook of Industrial Organization. Amsterdam: Elsevier (2005)] considered a model in which a monopolist sells to downstream firms using nonlinear contracts. They showed that banning price discrimination fully restores the supplier’s ability to leverage its monopoly power by enabling it to commit not to offer side discounts. I show that the situation changes when the supplier competes against a fringe of less efficient rivals rather than being a monopolist. Then banning price discrimination may cause per-unit prices to fall and welfare to increase. The dominant supplier can take advantage of a strategic bargaining effect: reducing the per-unit price makes the outside option of buying from the fringe less profitable, allowing the dominant supplier to extract more bargaining surplus through the fixed fee. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Multilateral Vertical Contracting with an Alternative Supply: The Welfare Effects of a Ban on Price Discrimination

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-006-0008-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Rey and Tirole [Handbook of Industrial Organization. Amsterdam: Elsevier (2005)] considered a model in which a monopolist sells to downstream firms using nonlinear contracts. They showed that banning price discrimination fully restores the supplier’s ability to leverage its monopoly power by enabling it to commit not to offer side discounts. I show that the situation changes when the supplier competes against a fringe of less efficient rivals rather than being a monopolist. Then banning price discrimination may cause per-unit prices to fall and welfare to increase. The dominant supplier can take advantage of a strategic bargaining effect: reducing the per-unit price makes the outside option of buying from the fringe less profitable, allowing the dominant supplier to extract more bargaining surplus through the fixed fee.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 23, 2006

References

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