nep-com New Economics Papers
on Industrial Competition
Issue of 2014‒12‒03
24 papers chosen by
Russell Pittman
United States Department of Justice

  1. When the Baby Cries at Night: Inelastic Buyers in Non-Competitive Markets By Calzolari, Giacomo; Ichino, Andrea; Manaresi, Francesco; Nellas, Viki
  2. Price-sensitive demand and market entry By Gu, Yiquan; Rasch, Alexander; Wenzel, Tobias
  3. Bridging the gap between horizontal and vertical merger simulation: Modifications and extensions of PCAID By Bush, C. Anthony
  4. Strategic investment, forward markets and competition By Aichele, Markus
  5. Entry with Two Correlated Signals By Alex Barrachina; Yair Tauman; Amparo Urbano Salvador
  6. Incentives to Innovate, Compatibility and Efficiency in Durable Goods Markets with Network Effects By Athanasopoulos, Thanos
  7. Negotiating for the Market By Joshua S. Gans
  9. Innovation and horizontal mergers in a vertically related industry By Ibáñez Zarate, Guiomar
  10. Fight Cartels or Control Mergers? On the Optimal Allocation of enforcement Efforts within Competition Policy By Andreea Cosnita; Jean-Philippe Tropeano
  11. Competition between Private Labels and National Brands: a Simple Econometric Test and Application to Dairy Markets By Balagtas, Joseph Valdes; Binkley, James K.; Volpe, Richard; Young, Jeffrey S.
  12. Why Are Wal-Mart and Target Next-Door Neighbors? By Schuetz, Jenny
  13. Market Structure and Competition: Assessment of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Industry based on the Modified Structure-Conduct-Performance Paradigm By Chong, Hooi Ying; Chan, Tze-Haw
  14. The Market Impacts of Pharmaceutical Product Patents in Developing Countries: Evidence from India By Mark Duggan; Craig Garthwaite; Aparajita Goyal
  15. Is there a level of competition intensity that maximizes investment in the mobile telecommunications industry? By Houngbonon, Georges Vivien; Jeanjean, Francois
  16. Catch me if you can: The interplay between the incumbent and the regulator in the Italian telecommunications market By Pontarollo, Enzo; Gerli, Paolo
  17. Competition for access provision: Infrastructure upgrades with spillovers By Matsushima, Noriaki; Mizuno, Keizo
  18. Coexistence of copper and fiber unbundling: Access charges and investment incentives By Tselekounis, Markos; Orfanou, Georgia; Varoutas, Dimitris
  19. The impact of tariff diversity on broadband diffusion: An empirical analysis By Haucap, Justus; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
  20. Deregulating fixed voice services? Empirical evidence from the European Union By Šaric, Amela; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
  21. Competition and bank risk: the effect of securitization and bank capital By Marqués-Ibáñez, David; Altunbas, Yener; van Leuvensteijn, Michiel
  22. Evidence for a ladder of investment in Central and Eastern European countries By Goran Serdareviæ; Matt Hunt; Tom Ovington; Clive Kenny
  23. The Implications of Market Structure for Appliance Energy Efficiency Regulation By Spurlock, C. Anna
  24. Cross-border M&As and innovative activity of acquiring and target firms By Stiebale, Joel

  1. By: Calzolari, Giacomo (University of Bologna); Ichino, Andrea (European University Institute); Manaresi, Francesco (Bank of Italy); Nellas, Viki (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We investigate empirically how sellers react to changes in the population of their consumers, identifying the effects of demand composition and demand size with limited information on costs. We show how pharmacists in Italy selectively increase the price of some products when they observe in their cities an exogenous influx of parents of newborns, conceivably less elastic buyers as compared with other more experienced and less pressed consumers. Exploiting population based laws that fix the number of pharmacies in a city, we use RDD to measure the effect of competition on sellers' ability to extract surplus from less elastic buyers.
    Keywords: demand elasticity, consumer's information, price competition, pharmacies, regression discontinuity
    JEL: D43 D83 L13
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Gu, Yiquan; Rasch, Alexander; Wenzel, Tobias
    Abstract: This paper revisits the optimal entry decision in a differentiated product market where customer demand is price-sensitive and depends on a per-unit transport cost. We show that too few firms may enter for high entry cost and high transport cost compared to the socially optimal outcome.
    Keywords: Circular city,Horizontal product differentiation,Market entry,Price-sensitive demand
    JEL: L11 L13
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Bush, C. Anthony
    Abstract: A general theoretical and empirical framework is developed for assessing the potential of a vertically integrated firm to foreclose downstream competitors. Using this framework a policymaker may also evaluate the empirical welfare effects from a vertically integrated firm raising rivals' costs. The framework is developed within the context of a vertically integrated multichannel video programming distributor ("MVPD"), and this framework extends the applicability of PCAIDS to vertical mergers. Using public data from the Comcast-Time Warner-Adelphia Merger Order of the Federal Communications Commission, price effects from the threat and action of foreclosure in several designated marketing areas were simulated. Empirical results suggest that the Commission Staff Model substantially underestimated price increases to end users as a result of the threat and action of foreclosure. Empirical results suggest that Commission's Program Access Rules were essential for MVPD competition.
    Keywords: Mergers,merger simulation,vertical merger,horizontal merger,telecommunications,PCAIDS,foreclosure,raising rival's cost,two-sided markets
    JEL: C15 C01 C02 C53 C61 D4 K2 L1 L96
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Aichele, Markus
    Abstract: I model the strategic interaction between firms, that face decisions on investment, forward contracts and spot market quantities. For an investment decision that takes place after firms have contracted forward but before firms compete on the spot market (medium term investment), competition becomes fierce. Thus, the efficiency gains from forward trading found by Allaz and Villa (1993) still are present. However, for an investment that takes place before firms contract forward (long term investment), competition becomes rather weak. When investment matters, from a welfare point of view the desirability of forward trading critically depends on the structure of decision making.
    Keywords: Industrial Organization,Strategic Investment,Forward Trading,Cournot Competition,Energy Markets
    JEL: L13
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Alex Barrachina (University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain); Yair Tauman (IDC Herzliya, Israel, and Stony Brook University, USA); Amparo Urbano Salvador (ERI-CES, University of Valencia)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of industrial espionage on limit-pricing models. We consider an incumbent monopolist engaged in R&D trying to reduce his cost of production and deter a potential entrant from entering the market. The R&D project may be successful or not and its outcome is a private information of the incumbent. The entrant has an access to an Intelligence System (IS hereafter) of a certain precision that generates a noisy signal on the outcome of the R&D project, and she decides whether to enter the market based on two signals: the price charged by the incumbent and the signal sent by the IS. It is assumed that the precision of the IS is exogenous and common knowledge. Our fundamental result is that for intermediate values of the IS precision, the set of pooling equilibria is non-empty even with profitable entry and the entrant enters if the IS tells her the R&D project was not successful. Since in the classical limit-pricing models the entrant never enters in a pooling equilibrium, the use of the IS by the entrant increases competition in pooling equilibrium with high probability. Moreover, the incumbent can deter profitable entry with positive probability.
    Keywords: Espionage, Entry deterrence, Asymmetric information, Pooling equilibria.
    JEL: C72 D82 L10 L12
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Athanasopoulos, Thanos (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relation between firms’R&D incentives and their compatibility decisions regarding durable, imperfectly substitutable network goods in the presence of forward looking consumers. Non drastic product innovation is sequential and both an initially dominant firm and a smaller rival are potential inventors. For sufficiently innovative future products, our first key result is that the dominant firm invests more when there is compatibility and voluntarily decides to supply interoperability information. This happens as the probability that he is the only inventor increases, allowing him to enjoy a higher expected future profit that outweighs the current lost revenue. For economies whose initial market size is considerably large, the rival also demands compatibility but this is no longer true in industries with a relatively smaller number of existing consumers. For less innovative new versions, the dominant firm rejects compatibility and there is a cutoff in network externalities below which he invests more when there is incompatibility. Regarding welfare, we find that a laissez faire Competition Law with respect to the IPR holders is socially preferable.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Joshua S. Gans
    Abstract: In a dynamic environment where underlying competition is "for the market," this paper examines what happens when entrants and incumbents can instead negotiate for the market. For instance, this might arise when an entrant innovator can choose to license to or be acquired by an incumbent firm; i.e., engage in cooperative commercialization. It is demonstrated that, depending upon the level of firms' potential dynamic capabilities, there may or may not be gains to trade between incumbents and entrants in a cumulative innovation environment; that is, entrants may not be adequately compensated for losses in future innovative potential. This stands in contrast to static analyses that overwhelmingly identify positive gains to trade from such cooperation.
    JEL: O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Paul O'Sullivan (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth);
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of R&D leadership on Research Joint Venture formation. If firms compete in R&D, there is a first (second)-mover advantage, when spillovers are relatively low (high). RJV profits exceed those of R&D leadership, except for a very narrow range of low unit R&D costs and spillovers. For a leader, preventing follower activity is only profitable if unit R&D costs and spillovers are relatively low. If unit R&D costs are sufficiently low, preventing the follower from becoming active may be welfare dominant but not profit maximizing, possibly justifying a role for government policy to subsidise R&D investment
    JEL: D21 L13
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Ibáñez Zarate, Guiomar
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of horizontal mergers on innovation and consumer welfare in a vertically related industry context, in which downstream firms compete for customers with a differentiated final good and can undertake R&D activities to reduce their unit costs. Upstream and downstream horizontal mergers can take place. The results suggest that competition authorities aiming to promote innovation and consumer welfare should treat upstream and downstream mergers differently, since horizontal mergers between upstream firms are detrimental to innovation and consumer welfare. By contrast, policy makers should evaluate the market characteristics under downstream integration. We show that downstream horizontal mergers can be both innovation and consumer welfare enhancing in the short run, when the markets are sufficiently small. Keywords: Horizontal Mergers. Innovation. Vertical Relations. JEL Classification Numbers: L22, L41, O32
    Keywords: Empreses, Direcció general d', Monopolis, Innovacions tecnològiques -- Direcció i administració, 33 - Economia,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Andreea Cosnita (EconomiX - CNRS : UMR7166 - Université Paris X - Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense); Jean-Philippe Tropeano (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the optimal enforcement of competition law between merger and anti-cartel policies. We examine the interaction between these two branches of antitrust, given the budget constraint of the public agency, and taking into account the ensuing incentives for firms in terms of choice between cartels and mergers. To the extent that a tougher anti-cartel action triggers more mergers and vice-versa, we show that the two antitrust branches are complementary. However, if the merger's coordinated effect is taken into account, then for a sufficiently large such effect the agency may optimally have to refrain from controlling mergers and instead spend all resources on fighting cartels.
    Date: 2013–06–01
  11. By: Balagtas, Joseph Valdes; Binkley, James K.; Volpe, Richard; Young, Jeffrey S.
    Keywords: Industrial Organization,
    Date: 2014–05–28
  12. By: Schuetz, Jenny (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Abstract: One of the most notable changes in the U.S. retail market over the past twenty years has been the rise of Big Box stores, retail chains characterized by physically large stores selling a wide range of consumer goods at discount prices. A growing literature has examined the impacts of Big Box stores on other retailers and consumers, but relatively little is known about how Big Box stores choose locations. Because Big Box stores offer highly standardized products and compete primarily on price, it is likely that they will seek to establish spatial monopolies, far from competitor stores. In this paper, I examine where new Big Box stores locate with respect to three types of existing establishments: own-firm stores, other retailers in the same product space (competitors), and retailers in other product spaces (complements). Results indicate that new Big Box stores tend to avoid existing own-firm stores and locate near complementary Big Box stores. However, there is little evidence that new Big Boxes avoid competitors. Firms in the same product space may not be perfect substitutes, or firms may prefer to share consumers in a desirable location rather than cede the entire market to competitor firms.
    Keywords: Retail location; spatial competition; agglomeration; Big Box stores
    JEL: L81 R12 R32
    Date: 2014–10–06
  13. By: Chong, Hooi Ying; Chan, Tze-Haw
    Abstract: This study assesses the market structure and competitiveness of Malaysian pharmaceutical industry. A panel analysis of 41 pharmaceutical manufacturing firms over 2004-2012 is conducted founded on the modified Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) framework. Our study reveals that the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry is highly concentrated (oligopoly) and the major findings are threefold. First, anti-competitive practices subsist among the pharmaceutical firms. Major players may have greater control over the markets and potentially colluded to gain better profits. Second, selling intensity is evident to raise the firms’ business performance, suggesting that advertisement, marketing campaigns, product differentiations and distribution efforts could be effective in building competencies over the rivals. Third, the study has tackled the endogeneity problem of traditional SCP with dual causal effects found between business conduct and business performance. Firms and authorities should consider the interactive mutual influences of structure-conduct-performance when formulating their respective management decisions and regulatory rules.
    Keywords: Modified Structure-Conduct-Performance, Pharmaceutical Industry, Competition, Panel Regression, Panel Causality
    JEL: D2 I15 L1
    Date: 2014–08–14
  14. By: Mark Duggan; Craig Garthwaite; Aparajita Goyal
    Abstract: In 2005, as the result of a World Trade Organization mandate, India began to implement product patents for pharmaceuticals that were compliant with the 1995 Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). We combine pharmaceutical product sales data for India with a newly gathered dataset of molecule-linked patents issued by the Indian patent office. Exploiting variation in the timing of patent decisions, we estimate that a molecule receiving a patent experienced an average price increase of just 3-6 percent with larger increases for more recently developed molecules and for those produced by just one firm when the patent system began. Our results also show little impact on quantities sold or on the number of pharmaceutical firms operating in the market.
    JEL: I11 L1 O34
    Date: 2014–10
  15. By: Houngbonon, Georges Vivien; Jeanjean, Francois
    Abstract: This paper empirically assesses the impact of the intensity of competition on investment in new technologies within the mobile telecommunications industry. Using firm level panel data and an instrumental variable estimation it finds an inverted-U relationship between competition intensity and investment. The intermediate level of competition intensity that maximizes investment stands at 62 percent, whereby competition intensity is measured by 1-Lerner index at the firm level. This means that the maximal level of investment is reached, on average, when the operating pro t represents 38 percent of total revenue. This result is rationalized through a theoretical model that yields an inverted-U relationship between competition and investment. It shows that the potential technological progress, measured by the impact of investment on the reduction of marginal cost, is the main determinant of the investment maximizing intermediate level of competition. The higher the potential technological progress, the lower the level of competition intensity that maximizes investment
    Keywords: Competition,Investment,Mobile Telecommunications
    JEL: D21 D22 L13 L40
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Pontarollo, Enzo; Gerli, Paolo
    Abstract: In Italy, fixed telecommunications were liberalised 15 years ago, but the incumbent is still the dominant operator. The Italian antitrust authority has recently fined Telecom Italia for margin squeeze and technical sabotage, proving that the incumbent still has the incentive and the power to deploy anticompetitive conducts. This research studies Telecom Italia's anticompetitive behaviours and regulatory interventions from 2004 to 2012, in order to understand and assess how the incumbent's strategies are affected by regulation. Four wholesale markets (local loop unbundling, colocation, wholesale broadband access, wholesale line rental) and two retail markets (directories and non-geographic numbers) have been considered. For each market, both Telecom Italia's strategies and NRA's actions have been analysed and tracked in a timeline to show the interplay between the incumbent and the regulator and to assess the regulation effectiveness in preventing and discouraging anticompetitive conducts.
    Keywords: Anticompetitive conducts,market foreclosure,vertical integration,ex-ante regulation,ex-post regulation,price discrimination,non-price discrimination
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Matsushima, Noriaki; Mizuno, Keizo
    Abstract: We examine a game of competition with access provision in which service quality is endogenously determined through infrastructure upgrades with spillovers. There are two types of equilibria in the free competition regime. In particular, voluntary access provision with an access charge higher than access cost occurs in equilibrium, irrespective of the degree of spillover and the investment cost. However, foreclosure also occurs in equilibrium when the degree of spillover is small and the investment cost is low. We also show that, when voluntary access provision occurs in equilibrium, access regulation is socially desirable only if the degree of spillover is small and the investment cost is high. On the contrary, access regulation is socially desirable in the broader range of investment cost under foreclosure than under voluntary access provision.
    Keywords: access provision,infrastructure upgrades,foreclosure
    JEL: L43 L51 L96
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Tselekounis, Markos; Orfanou, Georgia; Varoutas, Dimitris
    Abstract: We study the impact of the access charges of copper and fiber unbundling on an incumbent's incentives to invest in fiber access networks. Once the fiber deployment is in place, the incumbent and the entrant compete for consumers in both copper and fiber markets. We show that when the regulator can freely set either the copper or the fiber access charge, there is a positive correlation between the fixed fiber (respectively, copper) access charge and the copper (respectively, fiber) access charge that maximizes the incumbent's profit after the investment. On the contrary, when the regulator is free to set both access charges, the incumbent's profit is an increasing function of both access charges. However, the decision of the incumbent to undertake the investment in fiber deployment is not only affected by its profit after the investment, but also by the opportunity cost of the investment. This cost is reflected by the profits that the incumbent earns when it does not invest in fiber access networks, and hence, the two firms compete for the provision of only copper-based services. We find that the optimal regulatory policy in terms of investment incentives is to set the copper access charge at the cost of providing the access to the copper access network and the fiber access charge at the level that maximizes the incumbent's profit after the investment. It should be noted that the proposed regulatory policy confirms the methodology of the EC Recommendation (2013/466/EU) for setting the copper and fiber access charges in order to promote competition and enhance the broadband investment environment.
    Keywords: Access regulation,Copper unbundling,Fiber unbundling,Investment incentives,Telecommunications
    JEL: L51 L96
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Haucap, Justus; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis how tariff diversity affects broadband uptake, utilizing a new data set with 1497 fixed-line and 2158 mobile broadband tariffs from 91 countries across the globe. An instrumental variable approach is applied to estimate the demand for fixed broadband internet access, controlling for various industry and socio-economic factors. The empirical results indicate that, first, in addition to lower prices and higher income, more tariff diversity additionally increases broadband penetration. Secondly, inter-platform competition and mobile broadband prices are not found to have a significant effect on fixed-line broadband penetration. This suggests that low prices, higher incomes and the diversity of broadband offerings are more important drivers of fixed broadband adoption than competition between various technologies (cable networks, fixed-line telephone networks, mobile networks).
    Keywords: Broadband prices,Tariff diversity,Broadband demand,Broadband penetration,Broadband uptake,Price discrimination,Inter-platform competition
    JEL: L86 L96
    Date: 2014
  20. By: Šaric, Amela; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
    Abstract: This paper deals with the relationship between the traditional fixed-line, mobile and Voice over IP telephony in the EU.We estimate the supply and demand for fixed-line telephony using data on 25 EU member states for the 2006:Q2 - 2011:Q4 period. Employing instrumental variable approach, we obtain the following results. First, lower prices of Voice over IP and mobile reduce the demand for fixed-line telephony. This indicates some demand-side substitution. Second, we find no relationship between Voice over IP and fixed-line prices. Third, there is a positive and significant relationship between mobile and fixed-line prices. Estimated own- and cross-price elasticities are in the inelastic range. Hence, calls to deregulate fixed-line telephony may be too premature.
    Keywords: Fixed networks,Mobile services,Market definition,Hypothetical monopolist test,(De)regulation
    JEL: C23 L43 L51 L96
    Date: 2014
  21. By: Marqués-Ibáñez, David; Altunbas, Yener; van Leuvensteijn, Michiel
    Abstract: We find that the increased use of securitisation activity in the banking sector prior to the 2007- 2009 crisis augmented the effect of competition on realised bank risk (i.e. more intense competition and greater use of securitisation is correlated with higher levels of realised risk) during the crisis. In contrast, higher levels of capital did not buffer the impact of competition on realised risk. It follows that cooperation between supervisory and competition authorities is warranted to account for the stability implications of financial innovation and capital regulation. JEL Classification: G21, D22
    Keywords: bank risk, competition, securitisation
    Date: 2014–05
  22. By: Goran Serdareviæ (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nábreží 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic; Frontier Economics Ltd. 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DA, United Kingdom); Matt Hunt (Frontier Economics Ltd. 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DA, United Kingdom); Tom Ovington (Frontier Economics Ltd. 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DA, United Kingdom); Clive Kenny (Frontier Economics Ltd. 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DA, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: The model of liberalisation of European telecommunications markets had followed what has become known as the “ladder of investment” (LoI) hypothesis: under this hypothesis entrants are expected to make progressively greater investments in their own networks, whilst decreasing their dependence on the network of the incumbent fixed operator. The ultimate goal of the LoI approach is to achieve, where feasible, inter-platform competition. From a theoretical perspective, there are opposing forces at work: whilst offering retail services based on access to the incumbent’s network at the ‘first rung’ of the ladder is less risky, access seekers may find that investing to step-up on the ‘second and higher rungs’ of the ladder too risky. It is therefore unclear from a theoretical perspective whether the LoI approach will lead to inter-platform competition. Whether and under what circumstances it would is thus an empirical question. Our paper focuses on the evidence for the LoI in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Our analysis shows that the evidence available for CEE is consistent with entrants in CEE countries largely by-passing the LoI, by directly investing in their own networks. There are good reasons for this, as some of the assumptions underlying the LoI theory, such as good quality and universally available copper networks and relatively high cost and risk of investing in alternative infrastructure, do not necessarily hold in CEE countries. Our paper’s results are broadly consistent with most of the existing literature and represents a valuable contribution by providing an insight into the applicability of the LoI to CEE countries.
    Date: 2014–04
  23. By: Spurlock, C. Anna
    Abstract: I derive and test predictions from the classic Mussa and Rosen (1978) second-degree price discrimination model using data from the United States clothes washer market. I find evidence consistent with price discrimination in the market response to energy efficiency policy changes. Concurrent with the effective dates of both the new 2004 and 2007 federal minimum efficiency and ENERGY STAR standards, within-model clothes washer prices dropped on average. The heterogeneous pattern of price reduction across market segments, and adjustments in the menu of products, were consistent with predictions from the price-discrimination model, and not with a perfectly competitive market.
    Keywords: Price discrimination, minimum performance standards, energy efficiency, Consumer/Household Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, D43, L51, Q48,
    Date: 2014–07–29
  24. By: Stiebale, Joel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on the innovation of European firms. The results indicate a considerable increase in post-acquisition innovation in the merged entity. This is mainly driven by inventors based in the acquirer's country, while innovation in the target's country tends to decline. The asymmetry of effects between acquiring and target firms increases with pre-acquisition differences in knowledge stocks, indicating a relocation of innovative activities towards more efficient usage within multinational firms. Instrumental variable techniques as well as a propensity-score matching approach indicate that the effect of cross-border M&As on innovation is causal.
    Keywords: Multinational Enterprises,Mergers and Acquisitions,Innovation
    JEL: F23 D22 G34 O31
    Date: 2014

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