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Bertrand Competition in Markets with Network Effects and Switching Costs

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  • Irina Suleymanova
  • Christian Wey

Abstract

We analyze market dynamics under Bertrand duopoly competition in industries with network effects and consumer switching costs. Consumers form installed bases, repeatedly buy the products, and differ with respect to their switching costs. Depending on the ratio of switching costs to network effects, our model generates convergence to monopoly as well as market sharing as equilibrium outcomes. Convergence can be monotone or alternating in both scenarios. A critical mass effect, where consumers are trapped into one technology for sure only occurs for intermediate values of switching costs, whereas for large switching costs market sharing is the unique equilibrium and for small switching costs both monopoly and market sharing equilibria emerge. We also analyze stationary and stable equilibria, where we show that a monopoly outcome is almost inevitable, if switching costs or network effects increase over time. Finally, we examine firms' incentives to make their products compatible and to create additional switching costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Irina Suleymanova & Christian Wey, 2008. "Bertrand Competition in Markets with Network Effects and Switching Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 796, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp796
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Clémence Christin, 2013. "Entry Deterrence Through Cooperative R&D Over-Investment," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(2), pages 5-26.
    2. Jacques Crémer & Gary Biglaiser, 2012. "Switching Costs and Network Effects in Competition Policy," Chapters,in: Recent Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Doganoglu Toker & Grzybowski Lukasz, 2013. "Dynamic Duopoly Competition with Switching Costs and Network Externalities," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    4. Keser, Claudia & Suleymanova, Irina & Wey, Christian, 2012. "Technology adoption in markets with network effects: Theory and experimental evidence," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 262-276.
    5. Gu Yiquan & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Price-Dependent Demand in Spatial Models," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, March.
    6. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:1:p:136-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jiawei Chen-super-†, 2016. "How Do Switching Costs Affect Market Concentration and Prices in Network Industries?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 226-254, June.
    8. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
    9. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
    10. Alexei Alexandrov, 2008. "Interconnecting Differentiated Networks," Working Papers 08-07, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
    11. repec:emx:esteco:v:33:y:2018:i:1:p:3-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    13. Karacuka, Mehmet & Çatık, A. Nazif & Haucap, Justus, 2013. "Consumer choice and local network effects in mobile telecommunications in Turkey," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 334-344.
    14. Timothy Keller & David Miller & Xiahua (Anny) Wei, 2010. "A Steady State Approach to a Network Externality Market With Switching Costs," Working Papers 10-19, NET Institute.
    15. Fourberg, Niklas, 2017. "Let's lock them in: Collusion under Consumer Switching Costs," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168097, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Jiawei Chen, 2009. "Switching Costs and Dynamic Price Competition in Network Industries," Working Papers 09-25, NET Institute, revised Apr 2010.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Network effects; switching costs; Bertrand competition; market dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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