Competition, Incomplete Discrimination and Versioning

25 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2004

See all articles by Khaled Diaw

Khaled Diaw

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

Jérôme Pouyet

Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Analyse Socio-Economique (CERAS); National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

Two producers offer differentiated goods to a representative consumer. The buyer has distinct marginal valuations for the quality of the products. Each producer knows perfectly the consumer's taste for its own product, but remains uninformed about its taste for the rival's product. When each product cannot be purchased in isolation of the other one, a phenomenon of endogenous preferences arises since a firm's offer to the consumer depends on the information unknown by the rival firm. Multiple equilibria emerge and the consumer's rent increases with their valuation for one product and decreases with the valuation for the other product. This provides some foundations for the phenomenon of versioning, which has been observed in some digital goods markets. By contrast, when each product can be purchased in isolation of the other one, at the unique equilibrium consumers with larger valuations for a product earn higher rents. The analysis is undertaken under two alternative pricing policies: in the partially-discriminatory case, producers make use of the known information only; in the fully-discriminatory case, each producer offers second-degree price discriminates the consumer according to the unknown information. We show that, sometimes, firms prefer partial to full discrimination to soften competition.

Keywords: Price competition, price discrimination, versioning

JEL Classification: D82, L13

Suggested Citation

Diaw, Khaled and Pouyet, Jerome, Competition, Incomplete Discrimination and Versioning (September 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=608248

Khaled Diaw

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
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Jerome Pouyet (Contact Author)

Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Analyse Socio-Economique (CERAS) ( email )

28, rue des Saints-Peres
75007 Paris
France
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+33 1 4458 2880 (Fax)

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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