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Bundling by competitors and the sharing of profits

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  • GINSBURGH, Victor
  • ZANG, Israel

Abstract

We discuss the welfare effects of bundling two products offered by two symmetric firms. We first show that, in terms of welfare, a monopoly does better than a duopoly in which each firm sell its good and that a monopoly selling the bundle does better than if it sells the bundle and the two goods separately. We also show that the choice of the mechanism for sharing the profits, obtained from the sales of the bundle, might have dramatic positive or negative effects even when the various optional mechanisms yield equal splits. In particular, the use of the Shapley value yields the highest total and consumer surpluses and the lowest producer surplus, while the weighted Shapley value totally reverses the outcome and yields profits which are very close (over 99 pourcent) to the full monopoly profits. Hence, as in the case of bundling by a monopolist, when competitors bundle they assist each other in deterring entry. However, in addition when competitors bundle, they can implicitly cooperate via the setting of the profit sharing rule and increase their profits at the expense of customers. This issue calls for some further attention by regulators.

Suggested Citation

  • GINSBURGH, Victor & ZANG, Israel, 2005. "Bundling by competitors and the sharing of profits," CORE Discussion Papers 2005007, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2005007
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    File URL: https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/core/dp-2005.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ginsburgh, Victor & Zang, Israel, 2003. "The museum pass game and its value," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 322-325, May.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard, 1984. "Gaussian Demand and Commodity Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 211-230, January.
    3. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
    4. A. Michael Spence, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(5), pages 821-841.
    5. Gregory S. Crawford, 2000. "The Impact of the 1992 Cable Act on Household Demand and Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 422-450, Autumn.
    6. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    7. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187.
    8. Gregory Crawford, 2008. "The discriminatory incentives to bundle in the cable television industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 41-78, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Armstrong, 2010. "Collection Sales: Good Or Bad For Journals?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 163-176, January.
    2. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Dominiq, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Luca Zanin, 2010. "The relationship between changes in the Economic Sentiment Indicator and real GDP growth: a time-varying coefficient approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 837-846.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bundling; Shapley value; weighted Shapley value; sharing of profits;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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