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Multilateral Vertical Contracting with an Alternative Supply: The Welfare Effects of a Ban on Price Discrimination

  • Stéphane Caprice


Rey and Tirole [Handbook of Industrial Organization. Amsterdam: Elsevier (2005)] considered a model in which a monopolist sells to downstream firms using nonlinear contracts. They showed that banning price discrimination fully restores the supplier’s ability to leverage its monopoly power by enabling it to commit not to offer side discounts. I show that the situation changes when the supplier competes against a fringe of less efficient rivals rather than being a monopolist. Then banning price discrimination may cause per-unit prices to fall and welfare to increase. The dominant supplier can take advantage of a strategic bargaining effect: reducing the per-unit price makes the outside option of buying from the fringe less profitable, allowing the dominant supplier to extract more bargaining surplus through the fixed fee. Copyright Springer 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 63-80

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Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:28:y:2006:i:1:p:63-80
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  1. Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "A Primer on Foreclosure," IDEI Working Papers 203, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2005.
  2. Avenel, E. & Caprice, S., 2006. "Upstream market power and product line differentiation in retailing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 319-334, March.
  3. Patrick Rey & Jeanine Thal & Thibaud Vergé, 2006. "Slotting Allowances and Conditional Payments," Working Papers 2006-23, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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