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Exclusive dealing as a barrier to entry? Evidence from automobiles

  • Laura NURSKI
  • Frank VERBOVEN

Exclusive dealing contracts between manufacturers and retailers force new entrants to set up their own costly dealer networks to enter the market. We ask whether such contracts may act as an entry barrier, and provide an empirical analysis of the European car market. We first estimate a demand model with product and spatial differentiation, and quantify the role of a dense distribution network in explaining the car manufacturers’ market shares. We then perform policy counterfactuals to assess the pro.t incentives and entry-deterring effects of exclusive dealing. We find that there are no individual incentives to maintain exclusive dealing, but there can be a collective incentive by the industry as a whole, even absent efficiencies. Furthermore, a ban on exclusive dealing would shift market shares from the larger European firms to the smaller entrants. More importantly, consumers would gain substantially, mainly because of the increased spatial availability and less so because of intensified price competition. Our findings suggest that the European Commission’s recent decision to facilitate exclusive dealing in the car market may not have been warranted.

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Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number ces11.37.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.37
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://feb.kuleuven.be/Economics/

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  1. Boone, J. & Müller, W. & Suetens, S., 2009. "Naked Exclusion : Towards a Behavioral Approach to Exclusive Dealing," Discussion Paper 2009-30, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2006. "Vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers: inference with limited data," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0z26d2v9, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
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  8. John Asker, 2004. "Diagnosing Foreclosure Due to Exclusive Dealing," Working Papers 04-36, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  9. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:964-982 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," NBER Working Papers 5528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 64-103, February.
  12. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2009. "Naked Exclusion: An Experimental Study of Contracts with Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1850-77, December.
  13. Chamberlain, Gary, 1982. "Multivariate regression models for panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-46, January.
  14. H C W L Williams, 1977. "On the formation of travel demand models and economic evaluation measures of user benefit," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 9(3), pages 285-344, March.
  15. Michael D. Whinston & Ilya R. Segal, 2000. "Naked Exclusion: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 296-309, March.
  16. Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo, 2002. "Exclusive Dealing and Entry, when Buyers Compete," CEPR Discussion Papers 3493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Besanko, David & Perry, Martin K., 1994. "Exclusive dealing in a spatial model of retail competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 297-329, September.
  18. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
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