Buyer Power, Upstream Bundling, and Foreclosure
56 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2020 Last revised: 3 Feb 2020
Date Written: December 30, 2019
This article provides a new rationale for the "leverage theory" of bundling in vertical markets. We analyze a framework with a capacity-constrained retailer and uncover that buyer power explains the emergence of bundling practices by a multi-product manufacturer to foreclose a more efficient upstream rival. We further show that the retailer may counteract this adverse effect by expanding its stocking capacity. Finally, we highlight that a ban on bundling practices may restore the retailer's incentives to restrict its stocking capacity which generates detrimental effects for welfare.
Keywords: vertical relations, buyer power, exclusionary bundling, slotting fees, endogenous network, antitrust policy
JEL Classification: C78, L13, L42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation