Imperfect Substitutes for Perfect Complements: Solving the Anticommons Problem
An integrated monopoly, where all complements forming a composite good are offered by a single firm, is typically welfare superior to a complementary monopoly. This is the "tragedy of the anticommons". We consider the possibility of competition in the market for each complement. We present a model with two perfect complements and introduce n imperfect substitutes for one and then for both complements. We prove that, if one complementary good is produced by a monopolist, and if competition for the other complement does not vary the average quality in the market, then an integrated monopoly is still superior. In such case, favoring competition in some sectors, leaving monopolies in others would be detrimental for consumers and producers alike. Competition may be preferred if and only if the substitutes of the complementary good differ in their quality, so that as their number increases, average quality and/or quality variance increases. Results change when competition is introduced in each sector. In this case, if goods are close substitutes, we find that competition may be welfare superior for a relatively small number of competing firms in each sector, even with no quality differentiation.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Piazza Scaravilli, 2, and Strada Maggiore, 45, 40125 Bologna|
Phone: +39 051 209 8019 and 2600
Fax: +39 051 209 8040 and 2664
Web page: http://www.dse.unibo.it
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Beggs, Alan W, 1994. "Mergers and Malls," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 419-28, December.
- Jolian Mchardy, 2006. "Complementary Monopoly And Welfare: Is Splitting Up So Bad?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(3), pages 334-349, 06.
- Gaudet, Gerard & Salant, Stephen W., 1992. "Mergers of producers of perfect complements competing in price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 359-364, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:708. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.