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A Simple Theory of Predation

  • Chiara Fumagalli
  • Massimo Motta

We propose a simple theory of predatory pricing, based on incumbency advantages, scale economies and sequential buyers (or markets). The prey needs to reach a critical scale to be successful. The incumbent (or predator) has an initial advantage and is ready to make losses on earlier buyers so as to deprive the prey of the scale the latter needs, thus making monopoly profits on later buyers. Several extensions are considered, including cases where scale economies exist because of demand externalities or two-sided market effects, and where markets are characterized by common costs. Conditions under which predation may (or not) take place in actual cases are also discussed.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 437.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:437
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  1. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, . "Exclusive Dealing," Working Papers 96008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Chiara Fumagalli & Massimo Motta, 2006. "Buyers’ miscoordination, entry, and downstream competition," CSEF Working Papers 152, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Innes, Robert & Sexton, Richard J, 1994. "Strategic Buyers and Exclusionary Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 566-84, June.
  5. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  6. Gans, Joshua S. & King, Stephen P., 2002. "Exclusionary contracts and competition for large buyers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1363-1381, November.
  7. Fumagalli, Chiara & Motta, Massimo, 2002. "Exclusive Dealing and Entry, when Buyers Compete," CEPR Discussion Papers 3493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 1998. "The Strategic Use Of Tying To Preserve And Create Market Power In Evolving Industries," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 145, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  9. Rasmusen, Eric B & Ramseyer, J Mark & Wiley, John S, Jr, 1991. "Naked Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1137-45, December.
  10. Karlinger, Liliane & Motta, Massimo, 2007. "Exclusionary Pricing and Rebates When Scale Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 6258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Liliane Karlinger & Massimo Motta, 2012. "Exclusionary Pricing When Scale Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 75-103, 03.
  12. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
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