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Competing with Network Externalities and Price Discrimination

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  • Jullien, Bruno

Abstract

This Paper examines competition between a dominant network and a challenging network with third-degree or perfect price-discrimination, allowing for arbitrary configurations of network externalities, as well as horizontal and vertical product differentiation. Domination in the coordination game played by consumers is achieved through an adequate resolution that favours one firm over the other, and is interpreted as a reputation effect. Price-discrimination in this context has a strong impact because cross-subsidisation allows a firm to coordinate the choices of consumers, reducing the impact of reputation effects. Competitive strategies subsidize the participation of some consumers in order to create a bandwagon effect on others. This drastically intensifies competition and reduces average equilibrium prices. Because bandwagon effects are due to the incompatibility of networks, under perfect price-discrimination, both networks prefer to be compatible. Price-discrimination promotes efficiency by reducing the extent of excess inertia, but new features of excess momentum and market instability appear. A network may also have incentives to unilaterally degrade the quality for some targeted group of consumers in order to weaken competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing with Network Externalities and Price Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 2883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2883
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Chicken and Egg: Competing Matchmakers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing cybermediaries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 797-808, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Chicken and Egg: Competing Matchmakers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Paul Belleflamme & Eric Toulemonde, 2009. "Negative Intra-Group Externalities In Two-Sided Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 245-272, February.
    3. Estelle Cantillon & Pai-Ling Yin, 2008. "Asymmetric Network Effects," Working Papers 08-42, NET Institute.
    4. Bruno Jullien, 2005. "Two-sided Markets and Electronic Intermediaries," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 51(2-3), pages 233-260.
    5. Cortade, Thomas, 2006. "A Strategic Guide on Two-Sided Markets Applied to the ISP Market," MPRA Paper 2602, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compatibility; competition; cross-subsidy; network externalities; price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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