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Resale Price Maintenance and Collusion

Author

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  • Jullien, Bruno
  • Rey, Patrick

Abstract

The paper revisits the conventional wisdom according to which vertical restrictions on retail prices help upstream firms to collude. We analyse the scope for collusion with and without resale price maintenance (RPM) when retailers observe local shocks on demand or retail costs. In the absence of RPM, retail prices react to retailers' information and deviations from collusive behaviour are thus difficult to detect. By eliminating retail price flexibility, RPM facilitates the detection of deviations but reduces profits and increases the short-run gains from a deviation. Overall, RPM can facilitate collusion and it reduces total welfare whenever firms choose to adopt it.

Suggested Citation

  • Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick, 2000. "Resale Price Maintenance and Collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2553
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
    2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    3. Rey, Patrick & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1988. "Vertical restraints and producers' competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 561-568, March.
    4. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    5. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
    7. Patrick Rey & Joseph Stiglitz, 1995. "The Role of Exclusive Territories in Producers' Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 431-451, Autumn.
    8. Frederick V. Waugh, 1944. "Does the Consumer Benefit from Price Instability?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 602-614.
    9. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
    10. Perry, Martin K. & Porter, Robert H., 1990. "Can resale price maintenance and franchise fees correct sub-optimal levels of retail service?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 115-141.
    11. William Comanor & Patrick Rey, 2000. "Vertical Restraints and the Market Power of Large Distributors," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 17(2), pages 135-153, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Antitrust; Collusion; Resale Price Maintenance; Vertical Restraints;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • 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
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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