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Retailer power: recent developments and policy implications

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  • Paul Dobson
  • Michael Waterson

Abstract

It is common, but incorrect, to view retailing as a highly competitive activity. Unlike manufacturing, retailing has displayed a trend towards much higher concentration, reinforced by actions of retailers themselves, such as emphasis on own-label brands. This may introduce distortions arising from exercise of market power or may create countervailing power to that already enjoyed by manufacturers. Acknowledging increased market power within retailing raises new issues for competition authorities. We develop a consistent framework of analysis and use it to examine two issues: attitudes to retail mergers and exclusivity arrangements between retailers and their suppliers. Copyright Centre for Economic Policy Research, Centre for Economic Studies, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme 1999.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Dobson & Michael Waterson, 1999. "Retailer power: recent developments and policy implications," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 133-164, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:14:y:1999:i:28:p:133-164
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