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Alliances between competitors and consumer information

  • Paolo Garella

    ()

    (University of Milano, Italy)

  • Martin Peitz

    ()

    (International University in Germany, Bruchsal (Germany))

Alliances between competitors in which established firms provide access to proprietary resources, e.g. their distribution channels, are important business practices. We analyze a market where an established firm, firm A, produces a product of well-known quality, and a firm with an unknown brand, firm B, has to choose to produce high or low quality. Firm A observes firm B's quality choice but consumers do not. Hence, firm B is subject to a moral hazard problem which can potentially be solved by firm A. Firm A can accept or reject to form an alliance with firm B, which is observed by consumers. If an alliance is formed, firm A implicitly certifies the rival's product. Consumers infer that firm B is a competitor with high quality, as otherwise why would the established firm accept to form an alliance? The mechanism we discover allows for an economic interpretation of several types of business practices.

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Paper provided by University of Crete, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0613.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision: 01 2006
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of the European Economic Association
Handle: RePEc:crt:wpaper:0613
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  1. Martin Peitz & Paolo G. Garella, 1999. "- Intermediation Can Replace Certification," Working Papers. Serie AD 1999-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  2. Paolo Giorgio GARELLA & Martin PEITZ, 2006. "Alliances between competitors and consumer information," Departmental Working Papers 2006-41, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  3. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-37, September.
  4. Gary Biglaiser & James W. Friedman, 1999. "Adverse Selection with Competitive Inspection," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, 03.
  5. Sean Nicholson, 2005. "Biotech-Pharmaceutical Alliances as a Signal of Asset and Firm Quality," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1433-1464, July.
  6. Wujin Chu & Woosik Chu, 1994. "Signaling Quality by Selling Through a Reputable Retailer: An Example of Renting the Reputation of Another Agent," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(2), pages 177-189.
  7. Pashigian, B Peter & Gould, Eric D, 1998. "Internalizing Externalities: The Pricing of Space in Shopping Malls," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 115-42, April.
  8. Carlin, Barbara A. & Dowling, Michael J. & Roering, William D. & Wyman, John & Kalinoglou, John & Clyburn, Greg, 1994. "Sleeping with the enemy: Doing business with a competitor," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 9-15.
  9. Biglaiser, Gary & Friedman, James W., 1994. "Middlemen as guarantors of quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 509-531, December.
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