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Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?

Author

Listed:
  • Dennis W. Carlton
  • Joshua S. Gans
  • Michael Waldman

Abstract

We provide an explanation for tying not based on any of the standard arguments: efficiency, price discrimination, or exclusion. In our analysis a monopolist ties a complementary good to its monopolized good, but consumers do not use the tied good. The tie is profitable because it shifts profits from a complementary good rival to the monopolist. We show such tying is socially inefficient, but arises only when the tie is socially efficient in the absence of the rival. We relate this form of tying to several examples, discuss how it can also arise under competition, and explore its antitrust implications. (JEL D42, K21, L12, L25, L40)

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 85-105, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:85-105
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.3.85
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 85-105, August.
    2. Gans, Joshua S., 2011. "Remedies for tying in computer applications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 505-512, September.
    3. Farrell, Joseph & Katz, Michael L, 2000. "Innovation, Rent Extraction, and Integration in Systems Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 413-432, December.
    4. Whinston, Michael D, 1990. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 837-859, September.
    5. Patrick Bolton & Michael D. Whinston, 1993. "Incomplete Contracts, Vertical Integration, and Supply Assurance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 121-148.
    6. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2002. "The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 194-220, Summer.
    7. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    8. 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 283-298, March.
    9. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2005. "Tying, Upgrades, and Switching Costs in Durable-Goods Markets," NBER Working Papers 11407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187.
    11. Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Exclusivity and Tying in U.S. v. Microsoft: What We Know, and Don't Know," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 63-80, Spring.
    12. Chen, Yongmin, 1997. "Equilibrium Product Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(1), pages 85-103, January.
    13. 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.
    14. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joao Macieira & Pedro Pereira & Joao Vareda, 2013. "Bundling Incentives in Markets with Product Complementarities: The Case of Triple-Play," Working Papers 13-15, NET Institute.
    2. Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 85-105, August.
    3. Gans, Joshua S., 2011. "Remedies for tying in computer applications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 505-512, September.
    4. repec:kap:regeco:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9325-y is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Joshua S. Gans, 2011. "When Is Static Analysis a Sufficient Proxy for Dynamic Considerations? Reconsidering Antitrust and Innovation," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 55-78.
    6. Hurkens, Sjaak & Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "Dominance and Competitive Bundling," TSE Working Papers 13-423, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Gans, Joshua S., 2012. "Mobile application pricing," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 52-59.
    8. Claudio Lucarelli & Sean Nicholson & Minjae Song, 2010. "Bundling Among Rivals: A Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails," NBER Working Papers 16321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jihui Chen, 2011. "Do Exclusivity Arrangments Harm Consumers?," Working Paper Series 20111001, Illinois State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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