Two-player simultaneous location game: Preferential rights and overbidding
Competitive location problems can be characterized by the fact that the decisions made by others will affect our own payoffs. In this paper, we address a discrete competitive location game in which two decision-makers have to decide simultaneously where to locate their services without knowing the decisions of one another. This problem arises in a franchising environment in which the decision-makers are the franchisees and the franchiser defines the potential sites for locating services and the rules of the game. At most one service can be located at each site, and one of the franchisees has preferential rights over the other. This means that if both franchisees are interested in opening the service in the same site, only the one that has preferential rights will open it. We consider that both franchisees have budget constraints, but the franchisee without preferential rights is allowed to show interest in more sites than the ones she can afford. We are interested in studying the influence of the existence of preferential rights and overbidding on the outcomes for both franchisees and franchiser. A model is presented and an algorithmic approach is developed for the calculation of Nash equilibria. Several computational experiments are defined and their results are analysed, showing that preferential rights give its holder a relative advantage over the other competitor. The possibility of overbidding seems to be advantageous for the franchiser, as well as the inclusion of some level of asymmetry between the two decision-makers.
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