An Institutionalist Explanation of Joint Dominance
Università della Svizzera italiana
World Competition - Law and Economics Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 221-226, 2009
This article tries to formulate an institutionalist reassessment of the notion of joint dominance, a market situation in which certain firms indirectly synchronize the conduct in a ‘conscious parallelism’. In this article, the concept of joint dominance is treated as an economic common good with the resulting problems of coordination and free riding. We prove, then, that the essence of these problems explains the emergence of economic links between agents involved in a joint dominance. In particular, we define the limit of a joint dominance by the notion of conjectural variations.
Moreover, we distinguish different forms of joint dominance as deriving from the old-institutionalist J.R. Commons’ idea of transaction. We demonstrate that joint dominances composed by vertically related parties and/or by firms and the ‘public authority’ produce the reduction of a contestable Commonsian transaction as well as the horizontal joint dominance.
Keywords: market power, individual and joint dominance
JEL Classification: B15, D43, K21
Date posted: April 30, 2008 ; Last revised: February 20, 2013