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Vertical integration and product differentiation

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  • Arijit Mukherjee

    ()

  • Piercarlo Zanchettin

    ()

Abstract

We study horizontal product differentiation as a strategic decision of downstream firms facing a threat of vertical integration and market foreclosure by an upstream monopolist. We model product differentiation either as pure market segmentation or as generating positive value to consumers. Because of the threat of vertical integration, the downstream firms prefer more differentiation when the latter merely yields the anticompetitive effects of market segmentation, while they may prefer less differentiation when the latter would generate additional social value. Therefore, instead of market foreclosure, we indicate market segmentation or under-investment in socially valuable activities, such as product innovation, design, and informative advertising, as possible social costs of a lenient antitrust policy towards vertical mergers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12/17.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision: Sep 2012
Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:12/17

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Keywords: Vertical integration; product differentiation; market foreclosure; market segmentation.;

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References

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  1. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Vertical integration, exclusive dealing, and expost cartelization," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 1-21, 03.
  2. George Norman & Lynne Pepall, 2000. "Product Differentiation and Upstream-Downstream Relations," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0010, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Volker Nocke & Lucy White, 2003. "Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion?," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2004. "Technology of upstream firms and equilibrium product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1091-1114, November.
  6. Paul Belleflamme & Eric Toulemonde, 2003. "Product differentiation in successive vertical oligopolies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 523-545, August.
  7. Yongmin Chen, 2000. "On Vertical Mergers and Their Competitive Effects," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0383, Econometric Society.
  8. Arya, Anil & Mittendorf, Brian & Sappington, David E.M., 2008. "Outsourcing, vertical integration, and price vs. quantity competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-16, January.
  9. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire & Rey, Patrick, 2011. "Vertical Integration, Information and Foreclosure," IDEI Working Papers 673, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2011.
  10. Brocas, Isabelle, 2003. "Vertical integration and incentives to innovate," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 457-488, April.
  11. Häckner, Jonas, 2001. "Vertical Integration and Competition Policy," Research Papers in Economics 2001:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  12. Colangelo, Giuseppe, 1995. "Vertical vs. Horizontal Integration: Pre-emptive Merging," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 323-37, September.
  13. Milliou, Chrysovalantou, 2004. "Vertical integration and R&D information flow: is there a need for 'firewalls'?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-43, January.
  14. Salinger, Michael A, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-56, May.
  15. Buehler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2008. "Intimidating competitors -- Endogenous vertical integration and downstream investment in successive oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 247-265, January.
  16. Economides, Nicholas, 1999. "Quality choice and vertical integration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 903-914, August.
  17. Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 1997. "Downstream Vertical Foreclosure and Upstream Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 445-56, December.
  18. Noriaki Matsushima, 2009. "VERTICAL MERGERS AND PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 812-834, December.
  19. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-42, March.
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