“Exclusive Licensing in Complementary Network Industries”
This paper develops and analyzes a model of competition between platforms in an industry with indirect network effects, with a specific focus on complementary product exclusivity. The objective is to understand the determinants of exclusivity and explore its effects on competition. We find that the stage of platform market maturity and the asymmetry between the installed bases of platforms are critical determinants of exclusivity. Exclusivity is the dominant outcome in the nascent stage of the platform market and is sometimes the outcome in mature stages as well, while non-exclusivity is the usual outcome in the intermediate stages. In the nascent stages, the bigger platform secures exclusivity, while in the mature stages it is the smaller platform.
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