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One-Way Compatibility, Two-Way Compatibility and Entry in Network Industries


  • Manenti, Fabio M.

    (Universitý di Padova)

  • Ernesto Somma

    (Universitý degli Studi di Bari)


We study the strategic choice of compatibility between two initially incompatible software packages in a two-stage game by an incumbent and an entrant firm. Consumers enjoy network externality in consumption and maximise expected surplus over the two periods. Compatibility may be achieved by means of a converter. We derive a number of results under diÆerent assumptions about the nature of the converter (one-way vs two-way) and the existence of property rights. In the case of a two-way converter, which can only be supplied by the incumbent, incompatibility will result in equilibrium and depending on the strength of network externalities the incumbent may deter entry. When both firms can build a one-way converter and there are no property rights on the necessary technical specifications, the only fulfilled expectations subgame perfect equilibrium involves full compatibility. Finally, when each firm has property rights on its technical specifications, full incompatibility and preemption are again observed at the equilibrium. Entry deterrence will then occur for su±ciently strong network eÆects. The analysis generalises to any market where network externalities are present.

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  • Manenti, Fabio M. & Ernesto Somma, 2002. "One-Way Compatibility, Two-Way Compatibility and Entry in Network Industries," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 136, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:136

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Tå̊g, Joacim, 2014. "Acquisitions, entry, and innovation in oligopolistic network industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Etziony Amir & Weiss Avi, 2012. "Inviting Competition to Achieve Critical Mass," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-22, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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