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One-Way Compatibility, Two-Way Compatibility and Entry in Network Industries

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  • Fabio Maria Manenti

    ()
    (University of Padova)

  • Ernesto Somma

    ()
    (University of Bari)

Abstract

We study the strategic choice of compatibility between two initially incompatible network goods in a two-stage game played by an incumbent and an entrant firm. Compatibility may be achieved by means of a converter. We derive a number of results under different assumptions about the nature of the converter (one-way vs two-way) and the existence of property rights. In the case of a two-way converter, which can only be supplied by the incumbent, incompatibility will result in equilibrium. When both firms can build a one-way converter and there are no property rights on the necessary technical specifications, the unique equilibrium involves full compatibility. Finally, when each firm has property rights on its technical specifications, full incompatibility and preemption are again observed at the equilibrium. With incompatibility, entry deterrence occurs for sufficiently strong network effects. The welfare analysis shows that the equilibrium compatibility regime is socially inefficient for most levels of the network effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari in its series series with number 0004.

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Length: 829
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision: Jan 2002
Handle: RePEc:bai:series:wp0004

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Keywords: Network externalities; one-way compatibility; two-way compatibility;

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  3. Jinhong Xie & Marvin Sirbu, 1995. "Price Competition and Compatibility in the Presence of Positive Demand Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(5), pages 909-926, May.
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  12. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1996. "A selective review of the economics of standardization. Entry deterrence, technological progress and international competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 183-209, September.
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  16. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
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  19. Baake, Pio & Boom, Anette, 2001. "Vertical product differentiation, network externalities, and compatibility decisions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 267-284, January.
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