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Bundling by Competitors and the Sharing of Profits


  • Victor Ginsburgh

    () (ECARES, Universite Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Israel Zang

    () (The Academic College of Tel Aviv Jaffa)


We discuss the effects of bundling two goods offered by two symmetric firms. This situation requires the use of some sharing rule for the profits from the sales of the bundle. We show that the choice of this rule may have substantial effects on prices and profits – even if the possible rules eventually yield equal shares. In particular, the use of the a priori equal sharing rule yields lower prices and profits, than a price weighted sharing rule. When competitors bundle, they can implicitly cooperate via the setting of the profit sharing rule and increase their profits at the expense of consumers. This issue calls for some further attention by regulators.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh & Israel Zang, 2007. "Bundling by Competitors and the Sharing of Profits," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(16), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07l00003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1984. "Gaussian Demand and Commodity Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 211-230, January.
    2. Ginsburgh, Victor & Zang, Israel, 2003. "The museum pass game and its value," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 322-325, May.
    3. A. Michael Spence, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(5), pages 821-841.
    4. Gregory S. Crawford, 2000. "The Impact of the 1992 Cable Act on Household Demand and Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 422-450, Autumn.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187.
    8. Gregory Crawford, 2008. "The discriminatory incentives to bundle in the cable television industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 41-78, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Dominiq, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Mark Armstrong, 2010. "Collection Sales: Good Or Bad For Journals?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 163-176, January.
    3. Luca Zanin, 2010. "The relationship between changes in the Economic Sentiment Indicator and real GDP growth: a time-varying coefficient approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 837-846.

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    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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