The bright side of having an enemy
Journal of Marketing Research, 2019, 56(4):679-690.
80 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016 Last revised: 6 Oct 2022
Date Written: December 10, 2018
Conventional wisdom suggests that more intense competition will lower firms’ profits. We show that this may not hold in a channel setting with exclusive retailers. We find that a manufacturer and its retailer can both become worse off if their competing manufacturer and retailer with quality-differentiated products exit the market. Put differently, in a channel setting, more intense competition can be all-win for the manufacturer, the retailer, and the consumers. Interestingly, a high-quality manufacturer can benefit from an increase in its competitor’s perceived quality, e.g., due to favorable product reviews from consumers or third-party rating agencies. In other words, a manufacturer may prefer a strong rather than a weak enemy and the manufacturer can have an incentive to help its competitor to improve product quality or to remain in the market. Furthermore, we show that a multi-product monopolist manufacturer with an exclusive retailer may make higher profits by spinning off a product into a competing manufacturer that has its own retail channel, even without accounting for any proceeds from the spinoff.
Keywords: Competitive Strategy, Market Exit, Channel, Double Marginalization, Pricing, Entry Deterrence
JEL Classification: D01,D21, D40,D43,
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation