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Virtual Capacity and Competition

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Author Info

  • Christian Schultz

Abstract

In several European merger cases competition authorities have demanded that the merging firm auctions off virtual capacity. The buyer of virtual capacity receives an option on an amount of output at a pre-specified price, typically equal to marginal cost. This output is sold in the market in competition with the merging firm. The paper compares sale of physical and virtual capacity by the merging firm and shows that virtual capacity leads to a less competitive outcome. The merging firm can build up a reputation for producing little, so that the output price increases in the market, and this increases the auction price on virtual capacity.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-06/cesifo1_wp1487.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1487.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1487

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Related research

Keywords: virtual capacity; reputation; tacit collusion; antitrust; mergers; competition policy;

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References

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M & Maskin, Eric S, 1990. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 555-73, October.
  2. Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-53, October.
  3. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Severin Borenstein & James Bushnell, 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of the Potential for Market Power in California's Electricity Industry," NBER Working Papers 6463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juan Toro & Natalia Fabra, 2002. "Price Wars and Collusion in the Spanish Electricity Market," Economics Series Working Papers 136, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
  7. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  8. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2007. "Sustaining Social Security," 2007 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Fabra, Natalia, 2008. "On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Felix Höffler & Sebastian Kranz, 2011. "Using Forward Contracts to Reduce Regulatory Capture," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_09, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2009. "Virtual Power Plant Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 09vpp, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2009.
  5. Federico, Giulio & Lopez, Angel L., 2009. "Divesting power," IESE Research Papers D/812, IESE Business School.

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