The licensing dilemma: understanding the determinants of the rate of licensing
Licensing entails a tradeoff: licensing payments net of transaction costs (revenue effect) have to be balanced against the lower price-cost margin and/or reduced market share that the increased competition (profit dissipation effect) from the licensee implies. We argue that the presence of multiple technology holders, who compete in the market for technology, changes such tradeoff and triggers a more aggressive licensing behavior. To test our theory we analyze technology licensing by large chemical firms during the period 1986-96. We find that the rate of licensing is initially increasing and then decreasing in the number of potential technology suppliers, negatively related to the licensor's market share and to the degree of product differentiation.
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