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Exclusive dealing as a barrier to entry? Evidence from automobiles

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  • Nurski, Laura
  • Verboven, Frank

Abstract

Exclusive dealing contracts between manufacturers and retailers force new entrants to set up their own costly dealer networks to enter the market. We ask whether such contracts may act as an entry barrier, and provide an empirical analysis of the European car market. We first estimate a demand model with product and spatial differentiation, and quantify the role of a dense distribution network in explaining the car manufacturers' market shares. We then perform policy counterfactuals to assess the profit incentives and entry-deterring effects of exclusive dealing. We find that there are no individual incentives to maintain exclusive dealing, but there can be a collective incentive by the industry as a whole, even absent efficiencies. Furthermore, a ban on exclusive dealing would shift market shares from the larger European firms to the smaller entrants. More importantly, consumers would gain substantially, mainly because of the increased spatial availability and less so because of intensified price competition. Our findings suggest that the European Commission's recent decision to facilitate exclusive dealing in the car market may not have been warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Nurski, Laura & Verboven, Frank, 2012. "Exclusive dealing as a barrier to entry? Evidence from automobiles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8762
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiao, Junji & Ju, Heng, 2016. "The determinants of dealership structure: Empirical analysis of the Chinese auto market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 961-981.
    2. Olivier De Groote & Frank Verboven, 2016. " Subsidies and myopia in technology adoption: evidence from solar photovoltaic systems," Working Papers Department of Economics 547933, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    3. José Luis Moraga-González & Zsolt Sándor & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2015. "Consumer Search and Prices in the Automobile Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-033/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Xavier D'hautfoeuille & Isis Durrmeyer & Philippe Février, 2014. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium with Unobserved Price Discrimination," Working Papers 2014-38, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. Muriel Fadairo & Jianyu Yu, 2014. "Economic Rationales of Exclusive Dealing ; Empirical Evidence from the French Distribution Networks," Working Papers 1405, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Raff, Horst & Schmitt, Nicolas, 2015. "Retailing and international trade: A survey of the literature," Economics Working Papers 2015-02, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    7. Wei-Min Hu & Junji Xiao & Xiaolan Zhou, 2014. "Collusion or Competition? Interfirm Relationships in the Chinese Auto Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-40, March.
    8. repec:eee:jouret:v:93:y:2017:i:3:p:317-335 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    automotive industry; exclusive dealing; foreclosure; vertical restraints;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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