Bundling and Competition for Slots: On the Portfolio Effects of Bundling
Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences
Universita' degli Studi di Firenze
February 11, 2009
We consider competition among n sellers when each of them sells a portfolio of distinct products to a buyer having limited slots (or shelf space). We study how bundling affects competition for slots. When the buyer has k number of slots, efficiency requires the slots to be allocated to the best k products among all products. We first find that without bundling, equilibrium often does not exist and hence the outcome is often inefficient. Bundling changes competition between individual products into competition between portfolios and reduces competition from rival products. Therefore, each seller has an incentive to bundle his products. Furthermore, under bundling, an efficient equilibrium always exists. In particular, in the case of Digital goods, all equilibria are efficient if firms do not use slotting contracts. However, inefficient equilibria can exist if firms use slotting contracts. In the case of physical goods, pure bundling also can generate inefficient equilibria. Finally, we identify portfolio effects of bundling and analyze the consequences on horizontal merger.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Bundling, Portfolios, Slots (or Shelf Space), Pure Bundling, Slotting Contracts
JEL Classification: D4, K21, L13, L41, L82working papers series
Date posted: July 6, 2009
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