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Platform price parity clauses with direct sales

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Abstract

In the context of vertical contractual relationships, where competing sellers distribute their products directly as well as through competing intermediation platforms, we analyze the welfare effects of price parity clauses. These contractual clauses prevent a seller from offering its product at a lower price on other platforms or through its own direct sales channel. Recently, they have been the subject of several antitrust investigations. Contrary to the theories of harm developed by competition agencies and in some of the recent literature, we show that when we account for the sellers’ participation constraints, price parity clauses do not always lead to higher commissions and final prices. Instead, we find that they may simultaneously bene.t all the actors (platforms, sellers and consumers), even in the absence of traditional efficiency arguments.

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  • Johansen, Bjørn Olav & Vergé, Thibaud, 2017. "Platform price parity clauses with direct sales," Working Papers in Economics 01/17, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2017_001
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    1. Patrick Rey & Thibaud Vergé, 2010. "Resale Price Maintenance And Interlocking Relationships," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 928-961, December.
    2. Rey, Patrick & Verge, T., 2016. "Secret contracting in multilateral relations," TSE Working Papers 16-744, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2017.
    3. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
    4. Benjamin Edelman & Julian Wright, 2015. "Price Coherence and Excessive Intermediation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1283-1328.
    5. Wismer, Sebastian, 2013. "Intermediated vs. Direct Sales and a No-Discrimination Rule," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79999, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Ziss, Steffen, 1995. "Vertical Separation and Horizontal Mergers," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 63-75, March.
    7. Andre Boik & Kenneth S. Corts, 2016. "The Effects of Platform Most-Favored-Nation Clauses on Competition and Entry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 105-134.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rey, Patrick & Verge, T., 2016. "Secret contracting in multilateral relations," TSE Working Papers 16-744, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2017.
    2. Andrea Mantovani & Claudio Piga & Carlo Reggiani, 2017. "The dynamics of online hotel prices and the EU Booking.com case," Working Papers 17-04, NET Institute.
    3. Pinar Akman & D. Daniel Sokol, 2017. "Online RPM and MFN Under Antitrust Law and Economics," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(2), pages 133-151, March.
    4. Ronayne, David, 2018. "Price Comparison website," Economic Research Papers 270227, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vertical contracts; price parity clauses; platforms; endogenous participation;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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