IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/iepoli/v19y2007i2p215-248.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The economics of product-line restrictions with an application to the network neutrality debate

Author

Listed:
  • Hermalin, Benjamin E.
  • Katz, Michael L.

Abstract

We examine the welfare effects of product-line restrictions, such as those called for by some proponents of network neutrality regulation. We find that restricting a monopoly supplier to a single product has the following effects: (a) consumers who would otherwise have consumed a low-quality variant are excluded from the market; (b) consumers "in the middle" of the market consume a higher and more efficient quality; and (c) consumers at the top of the market consume a lower and less efficient quality. Total surplus may rise or fall. We also examine a duopoly model and find that imposition of a single-product restriction always reduces welfare. Absent the restriction, the two firms engage in head-to-head competition across full product lines. In some circumstances, the restriction induces the two firms to offer identical products. The resulting loss of variety reduces welfare. In other circumstances, the restriction induces the firms to offer non-overlapping, or vertically differentiated, products. Here, the resulting loss of competition harms both consumers and economic efficiency. Lastly, we find that, to the extent that the regulation is intended to eliminate low-quality products, it may fail. Even though any one firm can offer only a single product, various firms can collectively offer a menu of products.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Hermalin, Benjamin E. & Katz, Michael L., 2007. "The economics of product-line restrictions with an application to the network neutrality debate," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 215-248, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:19:y:2007:i:2:p:215-248
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-6245(07)00027-3
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-334, June.
    2. Caillaud Bernard & Hermalin Benjamin, 1993. "The Use of an Agent in a Signalling Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 83-113, June.
    3. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-557, May.
    4. Doyle, Chris & Smith, Jennifer C., 1998. "Market structure in mobile telecoms: qualified indirect access and the receiver pays principle," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 471-488, December.
    5. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1996. "Product line competition in vertically differentiated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 389-414, May.
    6. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-875, September.
    7. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    8. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
    9. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-328, Summer.
    10. Raymond J. Deneckere & R. Preston McAfee, 1996. "Damaged Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 149-174, June.
    11. Walras, L. & Holmes, P., 1980. "The state and the railways," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-100, February.
    12. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    13. Michael L. Katz, 1980. "Multiplant Monopoly in a Spatial Market," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 519-535, Autumn.
    14. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    15. Gabszewicz, Jean J & Laussel, Didier & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2002. " Press Advertising and the Political Differentiation of Newspapers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 317-334.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:19:y:2007:i:2:p:215-248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.