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Information Exchange, Market Transparency and Dynamic Oligopoly


  • Per Baltzer Overgaard
  • H. Peter Møllgaard

    () (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)


Economic literature often offers conflicting views on the likely efficiency effects of information exchanges, communication between firms, and market transparency. On the one hand, it is argued that increased information dissemination improves firm planning to the benefit of society (including buyers) and allows potential buyers to make correct decisions given their preferences. On the other hand, economic literature also shows that increased information dissemination can raise prices through tacit or explicit collusion to the benefit of firms but at the expense of society at large. This chapter provides a general analytical framework to reconcile these views and presents some basic conclusions for antitrust practice. In addition, the chapter reviews cases from both sides of the Atlantic where informational issues have played a significant role.

Suggested Citation

  • Per Baltzer Overgaard & H. Peter Møllgaard, 2007. "Information Exchange, Market Transparency and Dynamic Oligopoly," Economics Working Papers 2007-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2007-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-443, December.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
    3. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    4. H. Peter Møllgaard & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Market Transparency and Competition Policy," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(4), pages 11-64, April-May.
    5. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    7. Luca Lambertini & Dan Sasaki, 1999. "Optimal punishments in linear duopoly supergames with product differentiation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 69(2), pages 173-188, June.
    8. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    9. Schultz, Christian, 2005. "Transparency on the consumer side and tacit collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 279-297, February.
    10. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
    11. Fuller, Stephen W. & Ruppel, Fred J. & Bessler, David A., 1990. "Effect Of Contract Disclosure On Price: Railroad Grain Contracting In The Plains," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 15(02), December.
    12. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, April.
    13. Nikolaos Georgantzís & Gerardo Sabater-Grande, 2002. "Market Transparency and Collusion: On the UK Agricultural Tractor Registration Exchange," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 129-150, September.
    14. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
    15. Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
    16. H. Peter Møllgaard & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 1999. "Market Transparency: A Mixed Blessing?," CIE Discussion Papers 1999-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics, revised Feb 2000.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr, 2013. "Transparency in Electricity Markets," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. Rasch, Alexander & Herre, Jesko, 2013. "Customer-side transparency, elastic demand, and tacit collusion under differentiation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 51-59.
    3. Wilson, Chris, 2006. "Markets with Search and Switching Costs," MPRA Paper 131, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Oct 2006.
    4. Anne Margarian, 2013. "A Constructive Critique of the Endogenous Development Approach in the European Support of Rural Areas," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-29, March.

    More about this item


    Information exchange; oligopoly coordination; cases; antitrust practice;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law


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