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Bilateral Most-Favored-Customer Pricing and Collusion


  • William S. Neilson
  • Harold Winter


In a two-period differentiated products duopoly model, most-favored-customer (MFC) pricing policies allow firms to commit to prices above the Bertrand prices. It is shown here, however, that unless a restrictive and unappealing assumption is made about demand, there is no equilibrium in which both firms adopt MFC policies. The restrictive assumption is that at least one firm's demand is more responsive to changes in its opponent's price than to changes in its own price; otherwise, firms have an incentive to deviate from a greater-than-Bertrand price in the first period.

Suggested Citation

  • William S. Neilson & Harold Winter, 1993. "Bilateral Most-Favored-Customer Pricing and Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:24:y:1993:i:spring:p:147-155

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lacy Glenn Thomas, 1990. "Regulation and Firm Size: FDA Impacts on Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 497-517, Winter.
    2. Newey, Whitney K, 1990. "Efficient Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 809-837, July.
    3. Taylor, John B & Uhlig, Harald, 1990. "Solving Nonlinear Stochastic Growth Models: A Comparison of Alternative Solution Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, January.
    4. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Granero, Lluís M. & Ordóñez-de-Haro, José M., 2015. "Entry under uncertainty: Limit and most-favored-customer pricing," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 1-11.
    2. Granero, Lluís M., 2013. "Most-favored-customer pricing, product variety, and welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 579-582.
    3. Xu, Frances Zhiyun, 2011. "Optimal best-price policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 628-643, September.
    4. Stephan, Levy, 2004. "Best-price Guarantees as a Quality Signal," MPRA Paper 13466, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Nov 2004.
    5. Klibanoff Peter & Kundu Tapas, 2010. "Monopoly Pricing under a Medicaid-Style Most-Favored-Customer Clause and Its Welfare Implication," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-43, August.
    6. Kazuhiro Ohnishi, 2009. "Capacity Investment and Mixed Duopoly with State-Owned and Labor-Managed Firms," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 10(1), pages 49-64, May.
    7. Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle & Shaffer, Greg, 2015. "Apple's Agency Model and the Role of Resale Price Maintenance," Discussion Papers 2015/32, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    8. Butz, David A, 1997. "Vertical Price Controls with Uncertain Demand," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 433-459, October.

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