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Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers

  • Doh-Shin Jeon
  • Domenico Menicucci

Site licensing of electronic journals has been revolutionizing the way academic information is distributed. However, many librarians are concerned about the possibility that commercial publishers might abuse site licensing by practicing bundling. In this paper, we analyze how bundling afects journal pricing in the market of scientific, technical and medical (STM) electronic journals and offer a novel insight on the bundling of a large number of information goods. We find that (i) when bundling is prohibited, surprisingly, industry concentration does not affect prices (ii) when bundling is allowed, each publisher finds bundling profitable and bundling increases industry profits while reducing social welfare and (iii) any merger among publishers already active in the market is profitable but reduces social welfare.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 270.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:270
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  1. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  2. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labour for Costly Journals?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
  3. Gilles Chemla & Gilles Chemla, 2003. "Downstream Competition, Foreclosure and Vertical Integration," Post-Print halshs-00679847, HAL.
  4. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1997. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits and Efficiency," Working Paper Series 199, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  5. Chemla, G., 1999. "Downstream Competition, Foreclosure, and Vertical Integration," Papers 99-18, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
  6. Armstrong, M., 1996. "Price discrimination by a many-product firm," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9628, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  7. Chemla, Gilles, 2003. "Downstream Competition, Foreclosure, and Vertical Integration," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6313, Paris Dauphine University.
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