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Price Competition in Multimarket Duopolies


  • Rajiv Lal
  • Carmen Matutes


In this article, we analyze the pricing strategies of firms that compete for the demand of an assortment of goods in a complete information static framework. In particular, we model the competition between two symmetric firms in a market that consists of two types of consumers, each of which may buy one unit of both goods sold by the two firms. We show that all Nash equilibria are such that neither firm charges the same price for both goods. Interestingly, under certain conditions, the firms jointly price discriminate between the two types of consumers and may even achieve the same level of profits as if they maximized joint profits; for another set of conditions, the unique equilibrium is such that the price for one of the goods and the price for the bundle are the same as the price of the good in a standard Hotelling model with one good. Finally, we show that if these equilibria exist, both firms prefer to sell both goods rather than specialize in either one of them. These results are a direct consequence of the interplay between the multimarket rivalry and the existence of more than one market segment, as modelled in this article.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajiv Lal & Carmen Matutes, 1989. "Price Competition in Multimarket Duopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 516-537, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:20:y:1989:i:winter:p:516-537

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    1. Brandão, António & Correia-da-Silva, João & Pinho, Joana, 2014. "Spatial competition between shopping centers," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 234-250.
    2. Kaplan, Greg & Menzio, Guido & Rudanko, Leena & Trachter, Nicholas, 2016. "Relative Price Dispersion: Evidence and Theory," Working Paper 16-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Dhar, Tirtha & Stiegert, Kyle W. & Gould, Brian W., 2002. "Price Dispersion, Search, and Market Power," Working Papers 201549, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food System Research Group.
    4. Shelegia, Sandro, 2012. "Multiproduct pricing in oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 231-242.
    5. Bouckaert, Jan & Degryse, Hans, 2000. "Price competition between an expert and a non-expert," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 901-923, August.
    6. Glenn Ellison, 2005. "A Model of Add-On Pricing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 585-637.
    7. Saul Lach, 2002. "Existence And Persistence Of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 433-444, August.
    8. Azar, Ofer H., 2010. "Can more consumers lead to lower profits? A model of multi-product competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 184-195, November.
    9. Sandro Shelegia, 2008. "Pricing Interrelated Goods in Oligopoly," Working Papers 014-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    10. Preyas S. Desai & Anand Krishnamoorthy & Preethika Sainam, 2010. "“Call for Prices”: Strategic Implications of Raising Consumers' Costs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 158-174, 01-02.
    11. Gérard P. Cachon & A. Gürhan Kök, 2007. "Category Management and Coordination in Retail Assortment Planning in the Presence of Basket Shopping Consumers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 934-951, June.
    12. Bauner, Christoph, 2015. "Mechanism choice and the buy-it-now auction: A structural model of competing buyers and sellers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 19-31.
    13. Azar Ofer H, 2003. "Can Price Discrimination be Bad for Firms and Good for All Consumers? A Theoretical Analysis of Cross-Market Price Constraints with Entry and Product Differentiation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, September.
    14. Zhang, Anming & Zhang, Yimin, 1996. "Stability of a Cournot-Nash equilibrium: The multiproduct case," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-462.
    15. Rhodes, Andrew & Zhou, Jidong, 2016. "Consumer Search and Retail Market Structure," MPRA Paper 69484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Johansen, Bjørn Olav, 2012. "The Buyer Power Of Multiproduct Retailers: Competition With One-Stop Shopping," Working Papers in Economics 03/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    17. Vishal P. Singh & Karsten T. Hansen & Robert C. Blattberg, 2006. "Market Entry and Consumer Behavior: An Investigation of a Wal-Mart Supercenter," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 457-476, September.

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