Protecting the Domestic Market: Industrial Policy and Strategic Firm Behaviour
Foreign firms to break into a new market commonly undercut domestic prices and, hence, subsidise the consumer's costs of switching in order to get a positive market share. However, this may constitute the act of dumping as drawn in Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Consequently, domestic firms trying to protect themselves against potential competitors often demand an anti-dumping (AD) investigation. In a two-period model of market entry with horizontally differentiated products and exogenous switching costs, it is demonstrated that the mere existence of switching costs and AD-rules may result in an anti-competition effect: the administratively set minimum-price rule protects the domestic firm and yields larger prices. Therefore, there are some consumers who will not buy either product in both periods although they would have done so in absence of AD. Consequently, competition policy should reassess the AD-regulation.
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