Complements and Potential Competition

51 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2009  

Mikko Packalen

University of Waterloo - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 9, 2009


In this paper we examine the effect of cooperation between complementary incumbent monopolists on consumer welfare. While divided technical leadership makes it difficult for firms to integrate into complementary markets, firms induce entry in complementary markets by reducing the cost of entry in those markets. This is accomplished through, for example, the development and dissemination of royalty-free intellectual property. We present and analyze a model in which incumbents can influence the ease of entry in complementary markets. Cooperation between complementary monopolists decreases consumer welfare by reducing or even eliminating the entry inducement incentive but increases consumer welfare by eliminating double marginalization. We show that cooperation may decrease consumer welfare, contrary to Cournot's celebrated double-monopoly result, and that the welfare comparison can be determined in terms of straightforward economic concepts. We also present and analyze a model in which each incumbent can induce entry in the complementary market through long-term price commitments which are common in patent licensing.

Keywords: Complements, Monopoly, Entry Inducement, Cooperation, Double Marginalization, Double Monopoly

JEL Classification: K11, K21, L24, L41

Suggested Citation

Packalen, Mikko, Complements and Potential Competition (April 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Mikko Packalen (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - Department of Economics ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

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