Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Jihui Chen (Department of Economics, Illinois State University) asks Do Exclusivity Arrangments Harm Consumers?
ABSTRACT: This paper explores welfare implications of exclusivity arrangements, e.g. iPhone?s part- nership with wireless carriers. Two ?rms compete in a primary good market, while a monop- olistic ?rm o¤ers a value-adding good. The primary good can be consumed alone, while the value-adding good must be consumed with the primary good. The monopolistic ?rm forms an exclusivity partnership with one of the primary good providers. Buyers are able to consume the value-adding good only if they patronize the monopolistic ?rm?s exclusive partner. This practice allows the monopolistic ?rm to extract surplus from the primary good market. Sur- prisingly, consumers bene?t from the exclusivity arrangement. However, overall social welfare declines, despite improvements to consumer welfare.