Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 640: Exclusive Quality

Cédric Argenton ()
Additional contact information
Cédric Argenton: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: It is shown in this study that in the case of vertically differentiated products, Bertrand competition at the retail level does not prevent an incumbent upstream firm from using exclusivity contracts to deter the entry of a more efficient rival, contrary to what happens in the homogenous product case. Indeed, because of differentiation, the incumbent's inferior product is not eliminated upon entry. As a result, a retailer who considers rejecting the exclusivity clause expects to earn much less than the incumbent's monopoly rents. Thus, in equilibrium, the incumbent can always offer high enough an upfront payment to induce all retailers to sign on the contract.

Keywords: vertical differentiation; contracts; exclusion; monopolization

JEL-codes: L12; L42

37 pages, First version: October 18, 2006. Revised: June 5, 2007. Earlier revisions: November 17, 2006, November 17, 2006, November 17, 2006, June 4, 2007.

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