Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Price Discrimination within and across EMU Markets: Evidence from French Exporters

By: Fontaine, FrancoisMartin, JulienMejean, Isabelle
Abstract: We study the cross-sectional dispersion of prices paid by EMU importers for French products. We document a significant level of price dispersion both within product categories across exporters, and within exporters across buyers. This latter source of price discrepancies, sellers' price discrimination across buyers, is indicative of deviations from the law-of-one price. Price discrimination (i) is substantial within the EU, within the euro area, and within EMU countries; (ii) has not decreased over the last two decades; (iii) is more prevalent among the largest firms and for more differentiated products; (iv) is lower among retailers and wholesalers; (v) is also observed within almost perfectly homogenous product categories, which suggests that a non-negligible share of price discrimination is triggered by heterogeneous markups rather than quality or composition effects. We then estimate a rich statistical decomposition of the variance of prices to shed light on exporters' pricing strategies.

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