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Leveraging Monopoly Power by Degrading Interoperability: Theory and Evidence from Computer Markets

Author

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  • Christos Genakos
  • Kai Uwe Kühn
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

When will a monopolist have incentives to foreclose a complementary market by degrading compatibility/interoperability of his products with those of rivals? We develop a framework where leveraging extracts more rents from the monopoly market by "restoring" second degree price discrimination. In a random coefficient model with complements we derive a policy test for when incentives to reduce rival quality will hold. Our application is to Microsoft's strategic incentives to leverage market power from personal computer to server operating systems. We estimate a structural random coefficients demand system which allows for complements (PCs and servers). Our estimates suggest that there were incentives to reduce interoperability which were particularly strong at the turn of the 21st Century.

Suggested Citation

  • Christos Genakos & Kai Uwe Kühn & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Leveraging Monopoly Power by Degrading Interoperability: Theory and Evidence from Computer Markets," CEP Discussion Papers dp1060, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1060
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 64-103, February.
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    5. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Greenstein, Shane, 1999. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-40, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Nurski, 2012. "Net Neutrality, Foreclosure and the Fast Lane: An empirical study of the UK," Working Papers 12-13, NET Institute.
    2. Kai-Uwe Kühn & Svend Albæk & Miguel Mano, 2011. "Economics at DG Competition, 2010–2011," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 39(4), pages 311-325, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreclosure; anti-trust; demand estimation; interoperability;

    JEL classification:

    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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