Network Effects and Switching Costs in the Market for Routers and Switches
NET Institute Working Paper No. 03-3
37 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2004
Date Written: September 2003
This research examines the impact of switching costs on vendor choice in the market for routers and switches. We show that despite the use of open standards which attempt to enhance interoperabilities for equipments from different vendors, vendors in this market are able to maintain high switching costs. Because routers and switches are networked goods, switching costs may arise from prior investments made at the same establishment and/or at other establishments within the same firm. We study how the introduction of switches into the LAN market affected vendor choice in routers. In particular, we provide evidence of significant cross-product switching costs and sizeable shopping costs when buyers purchase routers and switches simultaneously. However, we also show that the introduction of switches may have temporarily reduced switching costs for router buyers investing in switches.
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