Endogenous Integration and Welfare in Complementary Goods Markets
This paper analyzes the strategic decision to integrate by firms that produce complementary products. Integration entails bundling pricing. We find out that integration is privately profitable for a high enough degree of product differentiation, that profits of the non-integrated firms decrease, and that consumer surplus need not necessarily increase when firms integrate despite the fact that prices diminish. Thus, integration of a system is welfare-improving for a high enough degree of product differentiation combined with a minimum demand advantage relative to the competing system. Overall, and from a number of extensions undertaken, we conclude that bundling need not be anti-competitive and that integration should be permitted only under some circumstances.
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