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Competitive Mixed Bundling and Consumer Surplus

  • John Thanassoulis

Mixed bundling in imperfectly competitive industries causes some prices to rise and others to fall. This paper studies under what conditions mixed bundling works for or against the consumer interest. We find that if buyers incur firm specific costs or have shop specific tastes then competitive mixed bundling lowers consumer surplus overall and raises profits - the same is true of competitive volume discounts. Competition without these discounts causes all prices to be kept low as larger customers are targeted; with discounts the prices for heavy users drop, but more is extracted from small users. The consumer surplus result is reversed if the differentiation between components as opposed to firms is key.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper263.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 263.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:263
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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  1. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  2. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  3. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Price Discrimination," Industrial Organization 0511004, EconWPA.
  4. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-37, March.
  5. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  6. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  7. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  8. Choi, Jay Pil & Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 2001. "Tying, Investment, and the Dynamic Leverage Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71, Spring.
  9. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
  10. Joshua S. Gans & Stephen P. King, 2006. "PAYING FOR LOYALTY: PRODUCT BUNDLING IN OLIGOPOLY -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 43-62, 03.
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