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Anti-Competitive Effects of resale-Below-Cost Laws

  • Marie-Laure Allain

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)

  • Claire Chambolle

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, LORIA - Laboratoire sur les Organisations Industrielles dans l'Agro-Alimentaire - INRA : UR1002)

We show that resale-below-cost laws enable producers to impose industry-wide price-floors to retailers. This mechanism suppresses downstream competition but also and more surprisingly dampens upstream competition, leading to higher prices and lower welfare. Price-floor may be more profitable for producers than resale price maintenance contracts and, when a resale price maintenance restraint may have ambiguous effect on welfare, price-floors are always welfare damaging. Retailers' buyer power appears as a key for a price-floor to work out.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00367492.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published, International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2011, 29, 4, 373-385
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00367492
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00367492/en/
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  1. Catherine C. de Fontenay & Joshua S. Gans, 2004. "Vertical Integration in the Presence of Upstream Competition," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 904, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle, 2004. "Loss-leaders Banning Laws as Vertical Restraints," Working Papers 2004-19, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
  4. Greg Shaffer, 1991. "Slotting Allowances and Resale Price Maintenance: A Comparison of Facilitating Practices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 120-135, Spring.
  5. Céline Bonnet & Pierre Dubois, 2010. "Inference on vertical contracts between manufacturers and retailers allowing for nonlinear pricing and resale price maintenance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 139-164.
  6. Rod Anderson & Ronald Johnson, 1999. "Antitrust and Sales-Below-Cost Laws: The Case of Retail Gasoline," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 189-204, May.
  7. Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2007. "Vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers: inference with limited data," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt6gz1t778, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  8. Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Complementarities, Below-Cost Pricing, and Welfare Losses," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 788, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Daniel P. O'Brien & Greg Shaffer, 1992. "Vertical Control with Bilateral Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 299-308, Autumn.
  11. Paul W. Dobson & Michael Waterson, 1996. "Product Range and Interfirm Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 317-341, 09.
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