Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Product quality, competition, and multi-purchasing

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Simon P Anderson (University of Virginia), Oystein Foros (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration) and Hans Jarle Kind (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration) have written on Product quality, competition, and multi-purchasing.

ABSTRACT: In a Hotelling duopoly model, we introduce quality that is more appreciated by closer consumers. Then higher common quality raises equilibrium prices, in contrast to the standard neutrality result. Furthermore, we allow consumers to buy one out of two goods (single-purchase) or both (multi-purchase). Prices are strategically independent when some consumers multi-purchase because suppliers price the incremental benefit to marginal consumers. In a multi-purchase regime, there is a hump-shaped relationship between equilibrium prices and quality when quality functions overlap. If quality is sufficiently good, it might be a dominant strategy for each supplier to price high and eliminate multi-purchase.

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