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A Simple Theory of Predation

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  • Fumagalli, Chiara
  • Motta, Massimo

Abstract

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7372.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7372

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Keywords: Anticompetitive behaviour; Antitrust; Below-cost pricing; Exclusion;

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References

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  1. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  2. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 1998. "The Strategic Use Of Tying To Preserve And Create Market Power In Evolving Industries," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 145, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 64-103, February.
  4. Liliane Karlinger & Massimo Motta, 2012. "Exclusionary Pricing When Scale Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 75-103, 03.
  5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  6. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  7. Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo, 2002. "Exclusive Dealing and Entry, when Buyers Compete," CEPR Discussion Papers 3493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Karlinger, Liliane & Motta, Massimo, 2007. "Exclusionary Pricing and Rebates When Scale Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 6258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Rasmusen, Eric B & Ramseyer, J Mark & Wiley, John S, Jr, 1991. "Naked Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1137-45, December.
  10. Innes, Robert & Sexton, Richard J, 1994. "Strategic Buyers and Exclusionary Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 566-84, June.
  11. Gans, Joshua S. & King, Stephen P., 2002. "Exclusionary contracts and competition for large buyers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1363-1381, November.
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