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Cartelization Through Buyer Groups

  • Chris Doyle
  • Martijn A. Han
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    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.

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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-059.pdf
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    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2012-059.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-059
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    1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521772525 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2007. "Buyer power and supplier incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 647-667, April.
    3. Bernheim, B.D., 1992. "Exclusive Dealing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1622, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. 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, 09.
    5. 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.
    6. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2008. "Buyer Power and the “Waterbed Effect”," CEIS Research Paper 107, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 10 Jul 2008.
    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. Salvatore Piccolo, 2009. "Colluding through Suppliers," CSEF Working Papers 224, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 08 Apr 2010.
    9. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2003. " Bargaining, Mergers, and Technology Choice in Bilaterally Oligopolistic Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
    10. 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.
    11. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 2004. "Buyers' Alliances for Bargaining Power," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 731-754, December.
    12. Chen, Zhiqi & Ross, Thomas W., 2003. "Cooperating upstream while competing downstream: a theory of input joint ventures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 381-397, March.
    13. Oystein Foros & Hans Jarle Kind, 2006. "Do Slotting Allowances Harm Retail Competition?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1800, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Andreas IRMEN, 1996. "Precommitment in Competing Vertical Chains," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9617, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    15. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
    16. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
    17. Oystein Foros & Hans Jarle Kind & Jan Yngve Sand, 2008. "Slotting Allowances and Manufacturers’ Retail Sales Effort," CESifo Working Paper Series 2396, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. 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.
    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.
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