Market Structure, Countervailing Power and Price Discrimination: The Case of Airports
We study bargained input prices where up and downstream firms can choose alternative vertical partners. We apply our model to airport landing fees where a number of interesting policy questions have arisen. For example, what is the impact of joint ownership of airports? Does airline countervailing power stop airports raising fees? Should airports be prohibited, as an EU directive intends, from charging differential prices to airlines? Our major findings are: (a) an increase in upstream concentration or in the substitutability between airports always increases the landing fee; (b) the effect of countervailing power, via an increase in downstream concentration, typically lowers landing fees, but depends on the competition regime between airlines and whether airports can price discriminate: airline concentration reduces the landing fee when downstream competition is in quantities, but if downstream competition is in prices landing fees fall only where airports cannot discriminate. Furthermore, only in a specific case (Bertrand competition, uniform landing fees and undifferentiated goods) will lower fees pass through to consumers. (c) With Cournot competition, uniform landing fees are always higher than discriminatory fees, while the reverse is true with Bertrand competition.
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- Barrett, Sean D, 2000. "Airport competition in the deregulated European aviation market," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 13-27.
- Clifford Winston, 2009. "Lessons from the U.S. Transport Deregulation Experience for Privatization," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2009/20, OECD Publishing.
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Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
03-083/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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