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Avoiding Market Dominance: Product Compatibility in Markets with Network Effects

Author

Listed:
  • Ulrich Doraszelski

    (Harvard)

  • Joe Harrington

    (Johns Hopkins)

  • Jiawei Chen

    (UC Irvine)

Abstract

As is well-recognized, market dominance is a typical outcome in markets with network effects. A firm with a larger installed base offers a more attractive product which induces more consumers to buy its product which produces a yet bigger installed base advantage. Such a setting is investigated here but with the main difference that firms have the option of making their products compatible. When firms have similar installed bases, they make their products compatible in order to expand the market. Nevertheless, random forces could result in one firm having a bigger installed base in which case the larger firm may make its product incompatible. We find that strategic pricing tends to prevent the installed base differential from expanding to the point that incompatibility occurs. This pricing dynamic is able to neutralize increasing returns and avoid the emergence of market dominance.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Doraszelski & Joe Harrington & Jiawei Chen, 2009. "Avoiding Market Dominance: Product Compatibility in Markets with Network Effects," 2009 Meeting Papers 30, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:30
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2004. "Capacity Dynamics and Endogenous Asymmetries in Firm Size," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 23-49, Spring.
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    11. Markovich, Sarit, 2008. "Snowball: A dynamic oligopoly model with indirect network effects," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 909-938, March.
    12. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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