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Asymmetry in capacity and the adoption of all-units discounts

Yong Chao, PhD G. Tan A. Wong
International Journal of Industrial Organization. July 1, 2019

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In many abuse of dominance antitrust cases, the dominant firm adopts pricing schemes involving all-units discounts, whereas its smaller competitors often use simple linear pricing. We provide a game-theoretic justification for the observed asymmetry in pricing practices by studying a model in which a firm with full capacity faces a capacity-constrained rival. The asymmetry in capacity between the firms, which gives rise to the captive market, allows the dominant firm to take advantage of the quantity commitment through all-units discounts while the capacity-constrained rival is induced to offer simple linear pricing.