Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Mannheim 14-22
We develop a model of interlocking bilateral relationships between upstream firms (manufacturers)that produce differentiated goods and downstream firms (retailers) that compete imperfectly for consumers. Contract offers and acceptance decisions are private information to the contracting parties. We show that both exclusive dealing and vertical integration between a manufacturer and a retailer lead to vertical foreclosure, to the detriment of consumers and society. Finally, we show that firms have indeed an incentive to sign such contracts or to integrate vertically.