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Application Bundling in System Markets

Listed author(s):
  • de Cornière, Alexandre
  • Taylor, Greg

Motivated by recent investigations over Google's practices in the smartphone industry, we study bundling in markets for devices that allow consumers to use applications. The presence of applications on a device increases demand for it, and application developers earn revenues by interacting with consumers. A firm that controls multiple applications can offer them to device manufacturers either individually or as a bundle. We present a novel mechanism through which anticompetitive bundling can be profitable: Bundling reduces rival application developers' willingness to pay manufacturers for inclusion on their devices, and allows a multiapplication developer to capture a larger share of industry profit. Bundling can also strengthen competition between manufacturers and thereby increase consumer surplus, even if it leads to foreclosure of application developers and a loss in product variety.

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File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12129
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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 12129.

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Date of creation: Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12129
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  1. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2012. "Bundling and Competition for Slots," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1957-1985, August.
  2. Carbajo, Jose & de Meza, David & Seidmann, Daniel J, 1990. "A Strategic Motivation for Commodity Bundling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 283-298, March.
  3. Choi, Jay Pil & Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 2001. "Tying, Investment, and the Dynamic Leverage Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71, Spring.
  4. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2002. "The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 194-220, Summer.
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