nep-com New Economics Papers
on Industrial Competition
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
23 papers chosen by
Russell Pittman
United States Department of Justice

  1. Vertical Integration, Knowledge Disclosure and Decreasing Rival's Cost By Chrysovalantou Miliou; Emmanuel Petrakis
  2. Price Dispersion and Informational Frictions: Evidence from Supermarket Purchases By Dubois, Pierre; Perrone, Helena
  3. Screening and Adverse Selection in Frictional Markets By Venky Venkateswaran; Ariel Zetlin-Jones; Ali Shourideh; Benjamin Lester
  4. Pass-through, vertical contracts, and bargains By Gaudin, Germain
  5. On Competing Mechanisms under Exclusive Competition By Attar, Andrea; Campioni, Eloisa; Piaser, Gwenaël
  6. On the private and social desirability of mixed bundling in complementary markets with cost savings By C. Halmenschlager; A. Mantovani
  7. Preemptive Investment under Uncertainty By Jan-Henrik Steg
  8. On the microeconomic foundations of linear demand for diferentiated products By Rabah Amiry; Philip Ericksonz; Jim Jin
  9. Behavior-based price discrimination and customer information sharing By Romain De Nijs
  11. Effects of Hostility Tradition in Antitrust: Leniency Programs and Cooperation Agreements By Pavlova, Natalia; Shastitko, Andrey
  12. Competition Law and the Pharmaceutical Sector in India By Mondal, Shamim S.; Pingali, Viswanath
  13. Incentives for Process Innovations under Discrete Structural Alternatives of Competition Policy By Šastitko, Andrej E.; kurdin, a. a.
  14. Does Financing of Chinese Mergers and Acquisitions Have “Chinese Characteristics”? By Lulu Gu; W. Robert Reed
  15. Favoritism in public procurement auctions: model of endogenous entry By Maria OSTROVNAYA; Elena PODKOLZINA
  16. Background of the Gazprom Antitrust Case: Internal and external energy policies, and antitrust law enforcement in the EU (Japanese) By TAKEDA Kuninobu
  17. Dynamic Effects of Patent Pools: Evidence from inter-generational competition in optical disk industry By SHIMBO Tomoyuki; NAGAOKA Sadao; TSUKADA Naotoshi
  18. Does one more or one less mobile operator affect prices? A comprehensive ex-post evaluation of entries and mergers in European mobile telecommunication markets By Gergely Csorba; Zoltan Papai
  19. On dynamic standards for energy efficiency in differentiated duopoly By Peter Michaelis; Thomas Ziesemer
  20. Deposit Competition and Financial Fragility: Evidence from the US Banking Sector By Gregor Matvos; Ali Hortacsu; Mark Egan
  21. Attention and Saliency on the Internet: Evidence from an online recommendation system By Christian Helmers, Pramila Krishnan, Manasa Patnam
  22. Estimating the Economic Effects of Deregulation: Evidence from the Turkish Airline Industry By Tamer Cetin; Kadir Y. Eryigit
  23. Enhancing Competitiveness, Purchasing Power and Employment by Increasing Competition in France By Antoine Goujard

  1. By: Chrysovalantou Miliou (Department of Economics, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Calle Madrid 126, Getafe (Madrid)); Emmanuel Petrakis (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: We study vertical integration taking into account the fact that, by facilitating the exchange of information within the integrated firm, it allows its upstream unit to disclose to the non-integrated downstream customer-rival the knowledge that it acquires regarding its downstream partner's innovation. We show that a vertically integrated firm chooses to disclose its knowledge to its downstream rival. Knowledge disclosure intensifies downstream competition but, at the same time, expands the size of the downstream market. We also show that, due to knowledge disclosure, vertical integration increases firms' innovation incentives, consumer and total welfare, and decreases, instead of raises, the rival's cost.
    Keywords: vertical integration; R&D investments; market foreclosure; knowledge disclosure
    JEL: L13 L22 L42
    Date: 2015–11–17
  2. By: Dubois, Pierre; Perrone, Helena
    Abstract: Traditional demand models assume that consumers are perfectly informed about product characteristics, including price. However, this assumption may be too strong. Unannounced sales are a common supermarket practice. As we show, retailers frequently change position in the price rankings, thus making it unlikely that consumers are aware of all deals o¤ered in each period. Further empirical evidence on consumer behavior is also consistent with a model with price information frictions. We develop such a model for horizontally di¤erentiated products and structurally estimate the search cost distribution. The results show that in equilibrium, consumers observe a very limited number of prices before making a purchase decision, which implies that imperfect information is indeed important and that local market power is potentially high. We also show that a full information demand model yields severely biased price elasticities.
    Keywords: imperfect information, price dispersion, sales, search costs, product dif- ferentiation, consumer behavior, demand estimation, price elasticities.
    JEL: D4 D83 L11 L66
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: Venky Venkateswaran (New York University); Ariel Zetlin-Jones (Carnegie Mellon University); Ali Shourideh (University of Pennsylavnia); Benjamin Lester (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: We develop a tractable framework for analyzing adverse selection economies with imperfect competition. Applications include markets for insurance, loans and financial assets. In our environment, uninformed buyers offer a general menu of screening contracts to trade with a privately informed seller. Imperfect competition is captured by allowing some sellers to trade with multiple buyers while others can only trade with one buyer (as in Burdett and Judd (1983)). Thus, the framework allows us to consider variations to the degree of competition in the market where one extreme is perfect competition a la Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976) while the other extreme is the standard non-linear pricing problem of a monopolist. We show that the unique symmetric mixed strategy equilibrium can be summarized by a probability distribution of indirect utilities offered by each buyer to each type of seller. Furthermore, we prove that the equilibrium exhibits a strict rank-preserving property, in that different types of sellers have an identical ranking of different menus offered in equilibrium. The equilibrium features menus that are all separating, all pooling or a mixture of both. When both types of menus are offered in equilibrium, those which offer higher utility to the seller are more likely to be separating. Ex-ante welfare is maximized when competition is imperfect. Finally, we study the effects of various policies - such as mandates, non-discrimination requirements and other restrictions on contracts - on welfare and the extent of competition.
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Gaudin, Germain
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of pass-through that are specific to vertical relationships between wholesalers and retailers. Fluctuations in input costs (due to, e.g., exchange rate shocks) are transmitted first to the wholesale price, and then to the retail price. The type of vertical agreement firms contract upon as well as their relative bargaining power are identified as major determinants of pass-through rates. The relationship between passthrough rates at the wholesale and retail levels is also investigated. Finally, the result of Bresnahan and Reiss (1985) on markup ratio is extended to the case where firms bargain over the wholesale price.
    Keywords: Pass-through,Exchange Rate,Vertical contracting,Bargaining
    JEL: F31 L11 L81
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Attar, Andrea; Campioni, Eloisa; Piaser, Gwenaël
    Abstract: We study games in which several principals design incentive schemes in the presence of privately informed agents. Competition is exclusive: each agent can participate with at most one principal, and principal-agents corporations are isolated. We analyze the role of standard incentive compatible mechanisms in these contexts. First, we provide a clarifying example showing how incentive compatible mechanisms fail to completely characterize equilibrium outcomes even if we restrict to pure strategy equilibria. Second, we show that truth-telling equilibria are robust against unilateral deviations toward arbitrary mechanisms. We then consider the single agent case and exhibit sufficient conditions for the validity of the revelation principle.
    Keywords: Competing Mechanisms, Exclusive Competition, Incomplete Information.
    JEL: D82
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: C. Halmenschlager; A. Mantovani
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study both the private and the social desirability of a mixed bundling strategy that generates a cost savings effect. We confirm that mixed bundling is the dominant strategy for multiproduct firms, although it may give rise to a prisoner’s dilemma. Moreover, we show that mixed bundling may maximise social welfare, provided that cost savings are sufficiently high. Finally, we highlight the parametric regions where the social and the private interests coincide, and those where they do not. The recent evolution of broadband telecommunications services provides an ideal framework to apply our theoretical predictions.
    JEL: D43 L13 L41
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Jan-Henrik Steg
    Abstract: This paper provides a general characterization of subgame-perfect equilibria for a strategic timing problem, where two firms have the (real) option to invest irreversibly in some market. Profit streams are uncertain and depend on the market structure. The analysis of the problem emphasizes its dynamic nature and exploits only its economic structure. In particular, the determination of equilibria with preemption is reduced to solving a single class of constrained stopping problems. The general results are applied to typical state-space models from the literature, to point out common deficits in equilibrium arguments and to suggest alternative equilibria that are Pareto improvements.
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Rabah Amiry (University of Iowa); Philip Ericksonz (University of Iowa); Jim Jin (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: This paper provides a thorough exploration of the microeconomic foundations for the multi- variate linear demand function for di¤erentiated products that is widely used in industrial or- ganization. A key ?nding is that strict concavity of the quadratic utility function is critical for the demand system to be well de?ned. Otherwise, the true demand function may be quite com- plex: Multi-valued, non-linear and income-dependent. The solution of the ?rst order conditions for the consumer problem, which we call a local demand function, may have quite pathological properties. We uncover failures of duality relationships between substitute products and com- plementary products, as well as the incompatibility between high levels of complementarity and concavity. The two-good case emerges as a special case with strong but non-robust properties. A key implication is that all conclusions derived via the use of linear demand that does not satisfy the law of Demand ought to be regarded with some suspiscion.
    Keywords: linear demand, substitutes, complements, representative consumer, Law of Demand
    JEL: D43 L13 C72
  9. By: Romain De Nijs (Ecole Polytechnique [Palaiseau] - Ecole Polytechnique, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))
    Abstract: This article investigates the incentives and the effects of information sharing among rival firms about the identities of their past customers in a two-period model with behaviorbased price discrimination (BBPD). An unilateral information exchange between the two periods takes place in a subgame-perfect equilibrium. This exchange increases the ability of the industry to price discriminate consumers according to their profiles and boosts the profitability of BBPD at the expense of consumers.
    Keywords: Price discrimination,Dynamic pricing,Privacy,Information sharing
    Date: 2015–10–28
  10. By: Shastitko, Andrey E.; Golovanova, Svetlana V.
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that even established and verified facts of agreements among producers are not a sufficient condition for cartel identification and, as a consequence, prosecution of agreement participants. Such requires looking at institutional details and the wider context of these and similar appearances or occurrences of documents and actions when qualifying the actions of market participants and their effects. This paper discusses a recent antitrust case brought against Russian manufacturers of large diameter pipes (LDPs) that examined supposedly abusive practices by these firms that were contrary to the law on the Protection of Competition, which prohibits market division. The case under consideration illustrates the importance of investigating institutional details when qualifying the actions of market participants and their effects. An analysis of the materials in this case using modern economic theory indicates that the presence of collusion is inconsistent with the active participation of the main consumer of LDPs in that agreement. The chosen format for the cooperation between pipe manufacturing companies and OJSC Gazprom, namely indicative planning, may be explained from the perspective of reducing contract risk in an environment characterized by large-scale private investments.
    Abstract: Эта статья демонстрирует, что даже установленные и проверенные факты соглашений между производителями не являются достаточным условием для идентификации картеля и, как следствие, судебного преследования участников соглашения. Это требует внимания к институциональным деталям и в более широком контексте этих и подобных выступлений или вхождений документов и действий при квалификации действий участников рынка и их последствий. Эта статья обсуждает недавнее антимонопольное дело, возбужденное против российских производителей труб большого диаметра (ТБД), о якобы имевших место злоупотреблений этими фирмами, противоречащих закону о защите конкуренции, который запрещает передел рынка. Рассматриваемый случай иллюстрирует важность исследования институциональных детали при квалификации действий участников рынка и их последствий. Анализ материалов в этом случае с помощью современной экономической теории показывает, что наличие сговора несовместимо с активным участием главного потребителя ПРМ в этом соглашении. Выбранный формат для сотрудничества между производственными компаниями и ОАО Газпром, а именно индикативного планирования, могут быть объяснены с точки зрения снижения риска контракта в среде, характеризующейся крупномасштабными частными инвестициями.
    Keywords: collusion,antitrust policy,credible commitments,indicative planning,contract risk
    JEL: K21 B52
    Date: 2014–02–07
  11. By: Pavlova, Natalia; Shastitko, Andrey
    Abstract: The article focuses on the effects that type I errors can have on the incentives of firms to compete, collude or engage in efficiency promoting socially beneficial cooperation. Our results confirm that in the presence of type I errors the introduction of a leniency program can have ambiguous effects, including the destruction and prevention of welfare enhancing horizontal cooperation agreements. The obtained results help understand the negative impact the hostility tradition resulting in type I enforcement errors can have on social welfare when applied to the regulation of horizontal agreements.
    Abstract: В статье рассматриваются эффекты, которые ошибки I типа могут накладывать на стимулы фирм к тому, чтобы конкурировать, вступать в сговор или участвовать в эффективности продвижения социально выгодного сотрудничества. Наши результаты подтверждают, что в присутствии ошибок типа I введение программы смягчения может иметь неоднозначные последствия, в том числе уничтожение и препятствование соглашениям о горизонтальном сотрудничестве, увеличивающем благосостояния. Полученные результаты помогут понять негативное воздействие, которое традиция враждебности в результате ошибки I типа может оказать на социальное обеспечение, когда применяется к регулированию горизонтальных соглашений.
    Keywords: antitrust,competition,collusion,cooperation agreements,leniency,errors
    JEL: D43 K21 L41
    Date: 2014–04–17
  12. By: Mondal, Shamim S.; Pingali, Viswanath
    Abstract: The Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest in the world both in terms of volume and value. Given its critical importance, the sector has been subject to a series of regulatory interventions, which have altered the nature of the industry quite significantly. With enacting the Indian competition Act (2002), India has joined the list of countries that has a robust competition regime. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the pharmaceutical sector through the prism of competition law.
  13. By: Šastitko, Andrej E.; kurdin, a. a.
    Abstract: This study analyses the incentives for process innovations under different conditions determined by the competition policy for intellectual property rights (IPR) and particular features of markets and technologies. Competition policy is defined by the presence or absence of compulsory licensing, markets are characterized by technological leadership or technological competition. The results of modelling show that the uncertainty engendered by technological competition may lower the intensity of innovative activities, if there are no mechanisms of coordination between participants. Voluntary licensing generally improves social welfare but does not guarantee an increase in innovative efforts. Compulsory licensing can impede innovations due to the opportunistic behaviour of market participants but certain measures of state policy can prevent this negative effect.
    Keywords: competition policy,compulsory licensing,process innovations
    JEL: L24 O31 K21
    Date: 2015–04–14
  14. By: Lulu Gu; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the financing of Chinese mergers and acquisitions. It is motivated by two issues associated with characteristic features of the Chinese economy. First, foreign ownership restrictions can potentially inhibit Chinese acquiring firms’ use of equity to finance overseas M&A deals. Second, the ability of state-owned enterprizes (SOEs) to secure favorable loan terms may provide them an incentive to rely more on cash financing. We collate data from four databases to obtain a sample of over 6000 M&A deals that were completed during the 1997-2014 period. We find evidence to support the first supposition but not the second.
    Keywords: Mergers and acquisitions (M&As), foreign ownership restrictions, state owned enterprises (SOEs), M&A financing, Chinese firms
    JEL: G34 G28 N20
    Date: 2015–11–09
    Abstract: Governments of different countries try to lower the entry cost in public procurement in order to decrease public spending. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the entry cost influences favoritism and procurement prices in the corrupt environment. We adapt the model of selective entry and find that lower entry cost always reduces the contract price paid by the benevolent procurer, but at the same time may make favoritism more stable. Thus the entry cost does not affect the contract price paid by the corrupt procurer or increase it. We illustrate this result using case study on gasoline procurement in Russia where the entry cost of companies was decreased by e-procurement reform. This allows us to examine how changes in entry costs influence competition of companies and procurement prices in auctions.
    Keywords: public procurement; endogenous entry; favoritism; e-auctions
    JEL: H57 D73
    Date: 2015–11–02
  16. By: TAKEDA Kuninobu
    Abstract: The European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Russian state-owned enterprise (SOE) Gazprom, alleging that its business practices breached European Union (EU) antitrust rules. This paper analyzes the case from the viewpoints of EU internal and external energy policies. The Commission has been using competition law as a tool for internal and external energy policies. Until the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission had been applying competition law in order to materialize an internal energy policy. Since the Lisbon Treaty, it has been using competition law for both external and internal energy policies. The Gazprom case, in which Lithuania pressed the Commission to enforce competition law under the name of "solidarity," is the latter case. But using competition law in such an instrumental way can cause a negative side effect such as disincentive for investment in pipelines, and it can also bring about a fierce conflict between concerned nations as seen in a Russian blocking statute.
    Date: 2015–11
  17. By: SHIMBO Tomoyuki; NAGAOKA Sadao; TSUKADA Naotoshi
    Abstract: This paper examines empirically how patent pools affect the research and development (R&D) for a next-generation standard and for improving and exploiting the current standard, based on panel data from the optical disk industry. Our analysis explicitly recognizes the inter-generational competition among standards and the timing difference between the standard agreement and the pool formation for the standard. The major findings are as follows. Both the agreement for the current standard (DVD) and the formation of the pools were followed by more R&D by the pool licensors for a next-generation standard (BD and HDDVD), relative to the nonparticipants of the pools. Furthermore, the formation of the pools was followed by intensified R&D efforts by the pool licensors for improving and exploiting the current standard. Thus, there is no evidence for negative effects of the pools on the innovations by the pool licensors. The R&D of the pool licensees for the next-generation standard also increased with some lag after the pool, suggesting the positive effect of open pool licensing for their learning and innovations toward the next-generation technology. Lower response of the 6C licensors, relative to that of the 3C licensors, may reflect the former's larger sunk cost in the DVD technology. After the formation of the pools, the patenting propensity by the licensors increased with deteriorating patent quality, and such tendency is larger for the 6C patent pool, presumably reflecting their royalty distribution policy based on simple patent counts.
    Date: 2015–11
  18. By: Gergely Csorba (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Zoltan Papai (Infrapont Economic Consulting)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of entries and mergers on the price of mobile voice services in a panel database of 27 European Member States between 2003 and 2010. Our difference-in-differences econometric methodology exploits the variance in different structural changes between countries to separate the respective effects. Our results show that the effect of entry crucially depends on the number of active operators and the type of entrant, and not controlling for these differences might lead to misleading conclusions. We find no robust evidence that entry has a price-decreasing effect on markets with originally 2 operators. However, the entry of a 4th operator does have a price-decreasing effect, but with different dynamics concerning the entrant's type. When we separate entry effects for the subsequent years, we show that the significant price-decreasing effects for local operators entering occur only in the first year after entry, while the price-decreasing effects for multinational entries are significantly larger on the long-run. Last, we find no price-increasing effects of 5-to-4 mergers, but a long run price-increasing effect of a 4-to-3 merger.
    Keywords: ex-post evaluation; mobile telecommunications; entry; merger; difference-in-differences estimations
    JEL: L11 L49 L59 L96
    Date: 2015–08
  19. By: Peter Michaelis (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics); Thomas Ziesemer (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We consider a two-periods-model of differentiated duopoly. Firms produce an en-ergy consuming household durable differentiated by its energy efficiency. Consumers differ by the weight they apply to their future energy costs when deciding which product to buy. In line with the Japanese Top Runner Program, the regulator introduces a minimum efficiency standard in period t=2 which is fixed according to the efficiency of the product supplied by the high efficiency firm in t=1. We show that in t=1 both firms supply lower efficiency products and the high efficiency firm gains in market share and profits. In t=2 these effects are reversed. Calculated over both periods, total energy consumption does not change. Although there is no ecological effect, total welfare increases because price competition becomes tighter and the cost savings accruing to the consumers exceed the firms’ losses in profits.
    Keywords: energy efficiency standards, product differentiation, duopoly, regulation
    JEL: L13 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2015–11
  20. By: Gregor Matvos (University of Chicago Booth School of Bu); Ali Hortacsu (University of Chicago); Mark Egan (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate an empirical model of the U.S. banking sector using data covering the largest U.S. banks over the period 2002-2013. Our model incorporates insured depositors and run-prone uninsured depositors who choose between differentiated banks. Banks compete for deposits and can endogenously default. We estimate demand for uninsured deposits and find that it declines with banks' financial distress, which is not the case for insured deposits demand. We calibrate the supply side of the model and find that the deposit elasticity to bank default is large enough to introduce the possibility of multiple equilibria, suggesting that banks can be very fragile. Last, we use our model to analyze the proposed bank regulatory changes. For example, our results suggest that the capital requirement below 17% can lead to significant instability in the banking system, and that a requirement of 31% maximizes the welfare of the worst equilibrium.
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Christian Helmers, Pramila Krishnan, Manasa Patnam
    Abstract: Using high-frequency transaction-level data from an online retail store, we examine whether consumer choices on the internet are consistent with models of limited attention. We test whether consumers are more likely to buy products that receive a saliency shock when they are recommended by new products. To identify the saliency effect, we rely on i) the timing of new product arrivals, ii) the fact that new products are per se highly salient upon arrival, drawing more attention and iii) regional variation in the composition of recommendation sets. We find a sharp and robust 6% increase in the aggregate sales of existing products after they are recommended by a new product. To structurally disentangle the effect of saliency on a consumer’s consideration and choice decision, we use data on individual transactions to estimate a probabilistic choice set model. We find that the saliency effect is driven largely by an expansion of consumers’ consideration sets.
    Keywords: Limited attention, advertising, online markets.
    JEL: D22 M30 K11 O34
    Date: 2015–11–09
  22. By: Tamer Cetin (Yildiz Technical University); Kadir Y. Eryigit (Uludag University)
    Abstract: This paper mainly studies the effect of deregulation on prices and quantity. For this aim, we employ cointegration methodology with structural breaks to empirically investigate the simultaneous relationship between deregulation, ticket prices, and the number of passengers in the Turkish airline industry. The findings confirm that deregulation increases quantity and decreases prices through accessibility to air transport service and actual competition, respectively. Also, structural breaks suggest that deregulation of prices and entry into the market has remarkable effect on the change in ticket prices and the number of passengers.
    Keywords: Deregulation, Airlines, Cointegration, Structural Breaks.
    JEL: L43 L93 C22
    Date: 2015–11
  23. By: Antoine Goujard
    Abstract: Over the past decade, France has substantially eased the burden of anti-competitive regulations and effectively enforced competition law against anti-competitive practices. Various sectors have been opened up more widely to competition, and the powers of the Competition Authority have been strengthened. However, the administrative procedures involved in starting a business remain lengthy, and the number of regulations and rules is substantial, while their potential impact on competition is not fully taken into account when they are drawn up and implemented. Recent streamlining initiatives are welcome but remain limited. Meanwhile, the territorial fragmentation of public procurement procedures, which could decline following ongoing reforms, impairs their efficiency and entry and operating requirements appear to go beyond consumer protection in several regulated professions, such as in legal services and health care. In the retail sector, recent reforms have significantly relaxed negotiating conditions between suppliers and retailers, and Sunday trading is intended to be partly liberalised. However, the ban on resale below cost has not been challenged, nor the tight rules controlling commercial zoning. Individual shops that contract with superstore chains cannot change chain easily. Of the network industries, it is in the telecommunications sector that competition has made the most progress, and there is room for further improvements in transport and energy. This Working Paper relates to the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of France ( y-france.htm).
    Keywords: productivity, France, growth, competition, regulation
    JEL: L1 L3 L4 L5 L8 L9 O43
    Date: 2015–11–19

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