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Cartelization Through Buyer Groups

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Doyle
  • Martijn A. Han

Abstract

Retailers may enjoy stable cartel rents in their output market through the formation of a buyer group in their input market. A buyer group allows retailers to credibly commit to increased input prices, which serve to reduce combined final output to the monopoly level; increased input costs are then refunded from suppliers to retailers through slotting allowances or rebates. The stability of such an “implied cartel†depends on the retailers’ incentives to secretly source from a supplier outside of the buyer group arrangement at lower input prices. Cheating is limited if retailers sign exclusive dealing or minimum purchase provisions. We discuss the relevancy of our findings for antitrust policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Doyle & Martijn A. Han, 2012. "Cartelization Through Buyer Groups," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-059, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-059
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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-059.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 64-103, February.
    2. Øystein Foros & Hans Jarle Kind & Jan Yngve Sand, 2009. "Slotting Allowances and Manufacturers’ Retail Sales Effort," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 266-282, July.
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    4. Øystein Foros & Hans Jarle Kind, 2008. "Do Slotting Allowances Harm Retail Competition?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 367-384, June.
    5. Blair,Roger D. & Lafontaine,Francine, 2011. "The Economics of Franchising," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521775892, April.
    6. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2011. "Buyer Power And The ‘Waterbed Effect’," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-20, March.
    7. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
    8. Marvel, Howard P. & Yang, Huanxing, 2008. "Group purchasing, nonlinear tariffs, and oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1090-1105, September.
    9. Abito, Jose Miguel & Wright, Julian, 2008. "Exclusive dealing with imperfect downstream competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 227-246, January.
    10. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-430, March.
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    14. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 2004. "Buyers' Alliances for Bargaining Power," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 731-754, December.
    15. Leslie M. Marx & Greg Shaffer, 2007. "Upfront payments and exclusion in downstream markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 823-843, September.
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    19. Snyder, Christopher M., 1998. "Why do larger buyers pay lower prices? Intense supplier competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 205-209, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    buyer groups; collusion; exclusive dealing; minimum purchase clauses; rebates;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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