Competition, Product Proliferation and Welfare: A Study of the U.S. Smartphone Market
45 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014 Last revised: 30 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 18, 2016
This paper studies (1) whether, from a welfare point of view, oligopolistic competition leads to too few or too many products in a market, and (2) how a change in competition affects the number and the composition of product offerings. We address these two questions in the context of the U.S. smartphone market. Our findings show the market contains too few products and that a reduction in competition decreases both the number and variety of products. These results suggest that merger policies may need to be stricter when we take into account the effects of a merger on product choice in addition to those on pricing.
Keywords: endogenous product choice, product proliferation, merger, smartphone industry
JEL Classification: L11, L15, L13, L63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation