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Mixed Source

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Abstract

We study competitive interaction between profit-maximizing firms that sell software and complementary goods or services. In addition to tactical price competition, we allow firms to compete through business model reconfigurations. We consider three business models: the proprietary model (where all software modules offered by the firm are proprietary), the open source model (where all modules are open source), and the mixed source model (where a few modules are open). When a firm opens one of its modules, users can access and improve the source code. At the same time, however, opening a module sets up an open source (free) competitor. This hampers the firm's ability to capture value. We analyze three competitive situations: monopoly, commercial firm vs. non-profit open source project, and duopoly. We show that: (i) firms may become "more closed" in response to competition from an outside open source project; (ii) firms are more likely to open substitute, rather than complementary, modules to existing open source projects; (iii) when the products of two competing firms are similar in quality, firms differentiate through choosing different business models; and (iv) low-quality firms are generally more prone to opening some of their technologies than firms with high-quality products.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 09-06.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0906

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Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

Related research

Keywords: Open Source; User Innovation; Business Models; Complementarity; Vertical Differentiation; Value Creation; Value Capture;

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References

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  1. Joachim Henkel, 2006. "The Jukebox Mode of Innovation - a Model of Commercial Open Source Development," DRUID Working Papers 06-25, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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  3. Chen, M. Keith & Nalebuff, Barry, 2006. "One-Way Essential Complements," Working Papers 22, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  4. Gastón Llanes & Ramiro de Elejalde, 2009. "Industry Equilibrium with Open Source and Proprietary Firms," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-149, Harvard Business School.
  5. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2005. "Two-sided competition of proprietary vs. open source technology platforms and the implications for the software industry," Working Papers 05-06, NET Institute.
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  9. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Pankaj Ghemawat, 2006. "Dynamic Mixed Duopoly: A Model Motivated by Linux vs. Windows," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1072-1084, July.
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  18. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2006. "The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1116-1127, July.
  19. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
  20. Keith M. Chen & Barry Nalebuff, 2006. "One-Way Essential Complements," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000669, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  22. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Andres Hervas-Drane, 2010. "Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and the Market for Digital Information Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 333-373, 06.
  23. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & David B. Yoffie, 2007. "Wintel: Cooperation and Conflict," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(4), pages 584-598, April.
  24. Jeffrey A. Roberts & Il-Horn Hann & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2006. "Understanding the Motivations, Participation, and Performance of Open Source Software Developers: A Longitudinal Study of the Apache Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 984-999, July.
  25. Bitzer, Jurgen, 2004. "Commercial versus open source software: the role of product heterogeneity in competition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 369-381, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Gastón Llanes & Ramiro de Elejalde, 2009. "Industry Equilibrium with Open Source and Proprietary Firms," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-149, Harvard Business School.
  2. Gauguier, Jean-Jacques, 2009. "L’industrialisation de l’Open Source," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/4388 edited by Toledano, Joëlle, September.
  3. Éric Darmon & Dominique TORRE, 2014. "Open Source, Dual Licensing and Software Competition," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201405, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

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