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Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences No. 01-2022
Universität Hohenheim, Fakultät Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Stuttgart
Meanwhile, the Industrial Organization literature gives several reasons why retailers adopt competition clauses (CCs) such as price matching or price beating guarantees. The motivations underlying the CCs might affect their forms and spread. In this paper, we unravel the spreading pattern of CCs in markets where they are used as a device to facilitate tacit collusion. It turns out that in homogeneous markets with capacity-constrained retailers, the retailers with the largest capacities are most inclined to adopt CCs. Our finding is in line with results of earlier studies on the formation of price leadership, which suggest that the retailers with the largest capacities take on the leadership position. On the other side, we find that in some market instances, retailers have to resort to CCs of non-conventional forms (i.e., of forms uncommon in real commercial life) to induce the most robust collusion. However, it turns out that this peculiar finding can be resolved for markets with additional characteristics. For example, if there exist market dominant retailers or the residual market demand is specified by efficient rationing, the most resilient collusion can also be enforced by CCs of conventional forms.
competition clause
anti-competitive practice
tacit collusion
market dominance
price-matching guarantee
price-beating guarantee
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Working Paper

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