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Exclusive Dealing

  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Michael D. Whinston

In this paper, we provide a conceptual framework for understanding the phenomenon of exclusive dealing, and we explore the motivations for and effects of its use. For a broad class of models, we characterize the outcome of a contracting game in which manufacturers may employ exclusive dealing provisions in their contracts. We then apply this characterization to a sequence of specialized settings. We demonstrate that exclusionary contractual provisions may be irrelevant, anticompetitive, or efficiency-enhancing, depending upon the setting. More specifically, we exhibit the potential for anticompetitive effects in non-coincident markets (that is, markets other than the ones in which exclusive dealing is practiced), and we explore the potential for the enhancement of efficiency in a setting where common representation gives rise to incentive conflicts. In each instance, we describe the manner in which equilibrium outcomes would be altered by a ban on exclusive dealing. We demonstrate that a ban may have surprisingly subtle and unintended effects.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 106 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 64-103

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:106:y:1998:i:1:p:64-103
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  1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  2. Katz, Michael L., 1989. "Vertical contractual relations," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 655-721 Elsevier.
  3. Rasmusen, Eric B & Ramseyer, J Mark & Wiley, John S, Jr, 1991. "Naked Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1137-45, December.
  4. Marvel, Howard P, 1982. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, April.
  5. Besanko, David & Perry, Martin K., 1994. "Exclusive dealing in a spatial model of retail competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 297-329, September.
  6. David Besanko & Martin K. Perry, 1993. "Equilibrium Incentives for Exclusive Dealing in a Differentiated Products Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 646-668, Winter.
  7. Mathewson, G Frank & Winter, Ralph A, 1987. "The Competitive Effects of Vertical Agreements: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1057-62, December.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:101:y:1986:i:1:p:1-31 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
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