Pricing Under the Threat of Entry by a Sole Supplier of a Network Good
This paper develops a model of pricing to deter entry by a sole supplier of a network good. We show that the installed user base of a network good can serve a preemptive function similar to that of an investment in capacity if the entrant's good is incompatible with the incumbent's good and there are network externalities in the demand for each good. Consequently, the threat of entry of an incompatible good can lead the incumbent to set low prices. Although the threat of entry is welfare-enhancing in our model, the welfare effects of actual entry are ambiguous. Put differently, a government policy that led to the entry of a firm that otherwise would not have entered, such as an entry subsidy, may lower welfare. We try to identify the main factors that should be considered in thinking about the welfare effects of entry deterrence in similar models.
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/journals/hier
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