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Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces

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  • Farrell, Joseph
  • Saloner, Garth

Abstract

Converters, emulators, or adapters can often make one technology partially compatible with another. The authors analyze the equilibrium market adoption of otherwise incompatible technologies when such converters are available and the incentives to provide them. While market outcomes without converters are often inefficient, the availability of converters can actually make matters worse. The authors also find that when one of the technologies is supplied only by a single firm, that firm may have an incentive to make conversion costly. This may lend some theoretical support to allegations of anticompetitive disruption of interface standards. Copyright 1992 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:40:y:1992:i:1:p:9-35
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