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Subsidizing the Competition


  • Aidan Hollis


This paper examines puzzling behavior in industries in which one firm is able to obtain a price premium and/or a dominant market share for a product which is identical to that of its rivals. It is shown that when there is learning by doing, economies of scale, network externalities, or reputational effects, the dominant firm's position may be enhanced by the presence of many weak competitors rather than a few strong ones. The dominant firm may therefore subsidize entry by giving away technical information, setting low licensing fees, or creating its own in-house competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Aidan Hollis, 1996. "Subsidizing the Competition," Working Papers ecpap-96-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:ecpap-96-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-271, May.
    2. Joseph Farrell & Nancy T. Gallini, 1988. "Second-Sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 673-694.
    3. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
    4. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-366, May.
    5. Nancy T. Gallini & Ralph A. Winter, 1985. "Licensing in the Theory of Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 237-252, Summer.
    6. Gallini, Nancy T, 1984. "Deterrence by Market Sharing: A Strategic Incentive for Licensing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 931-941, December.
    7. Oliver E. Williamson, 1968. "Wage Rates as a Barrier to Entry: The Pennington Case in Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 85-116.
    8. Mukesh Eswaran, 1994. "Licensees as Entry Barriers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 673-688, August.
    9. Economides, Nicholas, 1996. "Network externalities, complementarities, and invitations to enter," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 211-233, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies


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