Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Collusion and Research Joint Ventures

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kaz Miyagiwa, Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) has some thoughts on Collusion and Research Joint Ventures.

ABSTRACT: We examine whether cooperation in R&D leads to product market collusion. Suppose that firms engage in a stochastic R&D race while maintaining the collusive equilibrium in a repeated-game framework. Innovation under competitive R&D creates inter-firm asymmetries, which destabilizes the collusive equilibrium. Innovation sharing through cooperative R&D preserves symmetries, thereby facilitating collusion. Sharing an efficient technology also increases industry profit, which contributes to the collusion stability but also raises social welfare. Interestingly, a welfare improvement is less likely if innovation leads to a large cost reduction. The effect of licensing under competition R&D is also examined.

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