The Manufacturers’ Choice of Distribution Policy under Successive Duopoly
We examine an asymmetric noncooperative game between two manufacturers selecting the number of retailers who can distribute their products. In deciding whether to distribute through one or both retailers, there are two conflicting effects: the output expansion effect, because the product is sold in more outlets; and the competitive effect, associated with the introduction of intrabrand competition. Product differentiation and demand asymmetries between the two products determine which of these two effects dominates the other. When product differentiation is strong and brand asymmetry is moderate, both manufacturers distribute through both retailers in equilibrium. However, when both product differentiation and brand asymmetry are weak, exclusive dealing through a single retailer is the equilibrium. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that there also exist asymmetric equilibria in which one manufacturer distributes through both retailers but the other manufacturer distributes through one retailer. These equilibria can arise when both product differentiation and brand asymmetry are strong.
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Volume (Year): 70 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
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