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Matching Own Prices, Rivals' Prices, or Both

Author

Listed:
  • Morten Hviid

    () (ESRC Centre for Competition Policy and Norwich Law School, University of East Anglia)

  • Greg Shaffer

    () (ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, and Simon School of Business, University of Rochester)

Abstract

Many retailers promise that they will not be undersold by rivals (price-matching guarantees) and extend their promise to include their own future prices (most-favored-customer clauses). This is puzzling because the extant literature has shown that each promise independently has the potential to facilitate supracompetitive prices, and so one might think that the two promises are substitutes. In this paper, we consider why a firm might make both promises in the same guarantee, and show that price-matching guarantees and most-favored-customer clauses complement each other and can lead to higher prices than either one could have facilitated by itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 2008. "Matching Own Prices, Rivals' Prices, or Both," Working Papers 08-26, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp08-26
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    File URL: http://www.ccp.uea.ac.uk/publicfiles/workingpapers/CCP08-26.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wismer, Sebastian, 2013. "Intermediated vs. Direct Sales and a No-Discrimination Rule," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79999, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle & Shaffer, Greg, 2015. "Apple's Agency Model and the Role of Resale Price Maintenance," Discussion Papers 2015/32, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    3. Pio Baake & Ulrich Schwalbe, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1335, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    facilitating practices; low-price guarantees; antitrust policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • 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

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