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Competitive Mixed Bundling and Consumer Surplus

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  • John Thanassoulis

Abstract

Mixed bundling in imperfectly competitive industries causes some prices to rise and others to fall. This paper studies under what conditions mixed bundling works for or against the consumer interest. We find that if buyers incur firm specific costs or have shop specific tastes then competitive mixed bundling lowers consumer surplus overall and raises profits - the same is true of competitive volume discounts. Competition without these discounts causes all prices to be kept low as larger customers are targeted; with discounts the prices for heavy users drop, but more is extracted from small users. The consumer surplus result is reversed if the differentiation between components as opposed to firms is key.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 263.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:263

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Keywords: Bundling; Loyalty Rebates; Volume Discounts; Competitive Price Discrimination;

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  1. Choi, Jay Pil & Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 2001. "Tying, Investment, and the Dynamic Leverage Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71, Spring.
  2. Thisse, J.-F. & Vives, X., 1987. "On the strategic choice of spatial price policy," CORE Discussion Papers 1987008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  4. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  5. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  6. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Price Discrimination," Industrial Organization 0511004, EconWPA.
  7. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  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. 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.
  10. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
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