Exploiting Rivals' Strengths

33 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 14 May 2021

See all articles by Giacomo Calzolari

Giacomo Calzolari

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bologna

Vincenzo Denicolò

University of Leicester

Date Written: February 7, 2021

Abstract

Contracts that reference rivals' volumes (RRV contracts), such as exclusive dealing or market-share rebates, have been a long-standing concern in antitrust because of their possible exclusionary effects. We show, however, that it is more profitable for dominant firms to use these contracts to exploit rivals rather than to foreclose them. By designing RRV contracts so that rivals stay active but are marginalized, a dominant firm may obtain higher profits than if it were an unchallenged monopolist. In the most favorable cases, it can earn as much as if it could eliminate the competition and acquire the rivals' specific technological capabilities free of charge. Besides being more profitable, exploitative strategies are also generally less anti-competitive than traditional exclusionary strategies.

Keywords: Exploitation, Foreclosure, Market-share discounts, Exclusive dealing

JEL Classification: D42, D82, L42

Suggested Citation

Calzolari, Giacomo and Denicolò, Vincenzo, Exploiting Rivals' Strengths (February 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3781119 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3781119

Giacomo Calzolari (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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University of Bologna ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/giacomo-calzolari

Vincenzo Denicolò

University of Leicester

University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

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