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Vertical Integration, Innovation and Foreclosure

  • Marie-Laure Allain

    (Ecole Polytechnique, CREST)

  • Claire Chambolle

    (INRA)

  • Patrick Rey

    (TSE)

This paper studies the potential effects of vertical integration on downstream firms' incentives to innovate. Interacting efficiently with a supplier may require information exchanges, which raises the concern that sensitive information may be disclosed to rivals. This may be particularly harmful in case of innovative activities, as it increases the risk of imitation. We show that vertical integration exacerbates this threat of imitation, which de facto degrades the integrated supplier's ability to interact with unintegrated competitors. Vertical integration may thus lead to input foreclosure, thereby raising rivals' cost and limiting both upstream competition and downstream innovation. A similar concern of customer foreclosure arises in the case of downstream bottlenecks.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2011-17.

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Length: 69
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2011-17
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  1. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Vertical integration, exclusive dealing, and expost cartelization," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 1-21, 03.
  2. Gérard Gaudet & Ngo Van Long, 1993. "Vertical Integration, Foreclosure and Profits in the Presence of Double Marginalisation," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9308, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  3. Milliou, Chrysovalantou, 2004. "Vertical integration and R&D information flow: is there a need for 'firewalls'?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-43, January.
  4. Church, J. & Gandal, N., 1996. "Systems Competition, Vertical Merger and Foreclosure," Papers 6-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  5. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2005. "Patents vs trade secrets: knowledge licensing and spillover," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 444, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Yongmin Chen, 2000. "On Vertical Mergers and Their Competitive Effects," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0383, Econometric Society.
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