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The Effects of Product Bundling in Duopoly

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  • Reisinger, Markus
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    Abstract

    This paper studies the incentives for multiproduct duopolists to sell their products as a bundle. It is shown that contrary to the monopoly case bundling may reduce profits and increase consumer rent. This is the case if consumers' reservation values are negatively correlated. The reason is that bundling reduces consumer heterogeneity and makes price competition more aggressive. This effect can dominate the sorting effect that is well known for the monopoly case. Firms are in a prisoner's dilemma situation because they would be better off without bundling. Despite the lower prices a welfare loss occurs because some consumers do not buy their prefered product which results in distributive inefficiency. If firms can influence the correlation by choosing their location in the product range they try to avoid negative correlation and choose minimal differentiation in one good.

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    File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/477/1/munichbundle.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 477.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:477

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    Keywords: Product Bundling ; Price Competition ; Price Discrimination ; Product Differentiation;

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    1. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    2. Irmen, A. & Thisse, J.-F., . "Competition in multi-characteristics spaces: Hotelling was almost right," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1305, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187, February.
    4. Jeremy I. Bulow & John Geanakoplos & Paul D. Klemperer, 1983. "Multimarket Oligopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 674, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Neven, Damien J., 1986. "On Hotelling's competition with non-uniform customer distributions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 121-126.
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    7. 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.
    8. Chen, Yongmin, 1997. "Equilibrium Product Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(1), pages 85-103, January.
    9. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Preemptive R&D, Rent Dissipation, and the "Leverage Theory."," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1153-81, November.
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    12. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
    13. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    14. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP -385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    15. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 2000. "Compatibility and Bundling with Generalist and Specialist Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 177-88, June.
    16. Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," NBER Working Papers 2995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. 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.
    18. Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
    19. Anderson, Simon P. & Leruth, Luc, 1993. "Why firms may prefer not to price discriminate via mixed bundling," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 49-61, March.
    20. Carbajo, Jose & de Meza, David & Seidmann, Daniel J, 1990. "A Strategic Motivation for Commodity Bundling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 283-98, March.
    21. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Ramer, Roald, 1997. "Location, Location, Location," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 102-127, November.
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