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Product-bundling and Incentives for Merger and Strategic Alliance

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  • Sue Mialon

Abstract

This paper analyzes firms' choice between a merger and a strategic alliance in bundling their product with other complementary products. We consider a framework in which firms can improve profits only from product-bundling. While mixed bundling is not profitable, pure bundling is because pure bundling reduces consumers' choices, and thus softens competition among firms. Firms benefit the most from this reduced competition if they form an alliance. Firms do not gain as much from a merger because, internalizing the complementarity between the two products, a merged firm is inclined to pursue aggressive pricing to gain market share. Yet, firms may be motivated to choose a merger over an alliance because of foreclosure possibility as foreclosure is not possible under strategic alliance. However, in response, unmerged rivals can use a strategic alliance to avert foreclosure. Hence, the possibility of counter-bundling via strategic alliance by rivals reduces the incentives for merger. In equilibrium, bundling is offered only through strategic alliances.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0907.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0907

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  2. Seidmann, Daniel J, 1991. "Bundling as a Facilitating Device: A Reinterpretation of Leverage Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 491-99, November.
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  8. Joshua S. Gans & Stephen P. King, 2006. "PAYING FOR LOYALTY: PRODUCT BUNDLING IN OLIGOPOLY -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 43-62, 03.
  9. Chen, Yongmin, 1997. "Equilibrium Product Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(1), pages 85-103, January.
  10. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
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  12. DeGraba, Patrick, 1994. "No Lease is Short Enough to Solve the Time Inconsistency Problem," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 361-74, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2011. "Tax incidence with strategic firms on the soft drink market," TSE Working Papers 11-233, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2012.
  2. Colantuoni, Francesca & Rojas, Christian, 2012. "Have soda sales tax effects changed over time? Scanner data comparison analyses," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124806, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Guy E.J. Faulkner & Paul Grootendorst & Van Hai Nguyen & Tatiana Andreyeva & Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos & Chris Auld & Sean B. Cash & John Cawley & Peter Donnelly & Adam Drewnowski & Laurette Dubé & R, 2011. "Economic Instruments for Obesity Prevention: Results of a Scoping Review and Modified Delphi Survey," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 31-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jihui Chen, 2011. "Do Exclusivity Arrangments Harm Consumers?," Working Paper Series 20111001, Illinois State University, Department of Economics.
  5. PARDO-GARCIA, Christina & SEMPERE-MONERRIS, Jose J., 2013. "Equilibrium mergers in a composite good industry with efficiencies," CORE Discussion Papers 2013067, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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