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Bundling revisited: substitute products and inter-firm discounts

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  • Armstrong, Mark

Abstract

This paper extends the standard model of bundling to allow products to be substitutes and for products to be supplied by separate sellers. Whether integrated or separate, firms have an incentive to introduce bundling discounts when demand for the bundle is elastic relative to demand for stand-alone products. Separate firms often have a unilateral incentive to offer inter-firm bundle discounts, although this depends on the detailed form of substitutability. Bundle discounts mitigate the innate substitutability of products, which can relax competition between firms and induce an integrated firm to lower all of its prices when it follows a bundling strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Armstrong, Mark, 2010. "Bundling revisited: substitute products and inter-firm discounts," MPRA Paper 26782, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26782
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/32223/1/MPRA_paper_32223.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Thanassoulis, 2007. "Competitive Mixed Bundling and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 437-467, June.
    2. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
    3. 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, March.
    4. Giacomo Calzolari & Vincenzo Denicol?, 2013. "Competition with Exclusive Contracts and Market-Share Discounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2384-2411, October.
    5. Schmalensee, Richard, 1982. "Commodity Bundling by Single-Product Monopolies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 67-71, April.
    6. Claudio Lucarelli & Sean Nicholson & Minjae Song, 2010. "Bundling Among Rivals: A Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails," NBER Working Papers 16321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Matthew Gentzkow, 2007. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarity: Online Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 713-744, June.
    8. Lewbel, Arthur, 1985. "Bundling of substitutes or complements," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 101-107, March.
    9. R. Venkatesh & Wagner Kamakura, 2003. "Optimal Bundling and Pricing under a Monopoly: Contrasting Complements and Substitutes from Independently Valued Products," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(2), pages 211-232, April.
    10. Brueckner, Jan K., 2001. "The economics of international codesharing: an analysis of airline alliances," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1475-1498, December.
    11. Duarte Brito & Helder Vasconcelos, 2015. "Interfirm Bundling and Vertical Product Differentiation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(1), pages 1-27, January.
    12. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan & Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-383.
    13. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guy Laroque & Nicola Pavoni, 2017. "Optimal taxation in occupational choice models: an application to the work decisions of couples," IFS Working Papers W17/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price discrimination; bundling; oligopoly; loyalty pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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