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Integration, Complementary Products, and Variety

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  • Church, Jeffrey
  • Gandal, Neil

Abstract

This paper examines the incentives for integration when the market for consumer durables (hardware) is oligopolistic and the market for complementary services (software) is monopolistically competitive. We find that the equilibrium industry structure will depend on the magnitude of the fixed costs of software development. If the software development costs are relatively large, the equilibrium industry structure is unintegrated, that is, neither hardware firm integrates; if the software development costs are relatively small, the equilibrium industry structure is integrated, that is, both hardware firms integrate. Under the integrated industry structure, hardware profits are lower, less varieties are provided, and hardware prices are lower than under the unintegrated industry structure. The game has a prisoners' dilemma structure when the software development costs are relatively small because of a foreclosure effect. Strategically increasing the number of software varieties provides an avenue for an integrated hardware firm to increase its market share and profits by reducing the number of software varieties available for an unintegrated rival technology. Although consumer surplus is higher under an integrated industry structure, the total surplus associated with the unintegrated industry structure exceeds that of the integrated industry structure.
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Suggested Citation

  • Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Integration, Complementary Products, and Variety," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 651-675, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:1:y:1992:i:4:p:651-75
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Whinston, Michael D, 1990. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 837-859, September.
    2. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
    3. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Partially Compatible Brands and Consumer Welfare," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275497, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Economides, Nicholas & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Competition and Integration among Complements, and Network Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-123, March.
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    6. G.F. Mathewson & R.A. Winter, 1984. "An Economic Theory of Vertical Restraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 27-38, Spring.
    7. Lin, Y Joseph, 1988. "Oligopoly and Vertical Integration: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 251-254, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Church Jeffrey & Gandal Neil & Krause David, 2008. "Indirect Network Effects and Adoption Externalities," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-22, September.
    2. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
    3. Klaus CONRAD, 2005. "Price Competition and Product Differentiation when Goods have Network Effects," Industrial Organization 0502002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Klaus Conrad, 2006. "Price Competition and Product Differentiation when Goods have Network Effects," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 339-361, August.
    5. Dachrahn Wu & Ming Chang & Mei-Hua Chang, 2008. "Market coverage and “love of software variety” in the supporting services approach," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 77-86, October.
    6. Lazzarini, Sergio G., 2002. "The Performance Implications of Membership in Competing Firm Constellations: Evidence from the Global Airline Industry," Insper Working Papers wpe_23, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    7. Knittel, Christopher R. & Stango, Victor, 2011. "Strategic incompatibility in ATM markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 2627-2636, October.
    8. Masakazu Ishihara & Eitan Muller, 2020. "Software piracy and outsourcing in two-sided markets," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 61-124, March.
    9. Jeffrey Church & Neil Gandal, 2000. "Systems Competition, Vertical Merger, and Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 25-51, March.
    10. Conrad, Klaus, 2004. "Network effects, Compatibility and the Environment : The Case of Hydrogen Powered Cars," Discussion Papers 613, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    11. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1996. "Strategic entry deterrence: Complementary products as installed base," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 331-354, September.
    12. Desruelle, Dominique & Gaudet, Gerard & Richelle, Yves, 1996. "Complementarity, coordination and compatibility: The role of fixed costs in the economics of systems," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 747-768, October.
    13. Knittel Christopher R. & Stango Victor, 2008. "Incompatibility, Product Attributes and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from ATMs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42, January.
    14. Luís M. B. Cabral & Miguel Villas-Boas, 2005. "Bertrand Supertraps," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(4), pages 599-613, April.
    15. Church, J. & Gandal, N., 1993. "Equilibrium Foreclosure and Complementary Products," Papers 3-93, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    16. Conrad, Klaus, 2004. "Price Competition and Product Differentiation when Goods have Network Effects," Discussion Papers 612, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    17. Nicholas S. Economides & Glenn A. Woroch, 1992. "Benefits and Pitfalls of Network Interconnection," Working Papers 92-31, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    18. Klaus Conrad, 2006. "Price Competition and Product Differentiation when Goods have Network Effects," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(3), pages 339-361, August.
    19. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2000. "Mergers in Emerging Markets with Network Externalities: The Case of Telecoms," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-23, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    20. Knittel, Christopher R. & Stango, Victor, 2011. "Strategic incompatibility in ATM markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 2627-2636, October.
    21. Knittel Christopher R. & Stango Victor, 2008. "Incompatibility, Product Attributes and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from ATMs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42, January.

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