Vertical Restraints and Producers' Competition
20 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2004 Last revised: 12 Aug 2010
Date Written: May 1988
This paper examines the rationale for vertical restraints. It shows that there are important circumstances under which these restrictions have significant anti-competitive effects. The paper focuses on the consequences of exclusive territorial arrangements among the retailers of two products which are imperfect substitutes. Such arrangements are shown to increase consumer prices; under plausible conditions the increase in consumer prices is sufficiently large to more than offset the deleterious effects from "double marginalization" resulting from reduced competition among retailers. The imposition of exclusivity provisions is may be part of a Nash equilibrium among producers. These results hold whether there are or are not franchise fees.
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