Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Bidding for network size

Foucart, Renaud and Friedrichsen, Jana (2016): Bidding for network size.

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Abstract

We study a game were two firms compete on investment in order to attract consumers. Below a certain threshold, investment aims at attracting ex-ante indifferent users. Above this threshold firms also compete for users loyal to the other firm. We find that, in equilibrium, firms do not choose their investment deterministically but randomize over two disconnected intervals. These correspond to competing for either the entire population or only the ex-ante indifferent users. While the benefits of attracting users are identical for both firms, the value of remaining passive and not investing at all depends on a firm's loyal base. The firm with the smallest base bids more aggressively to compensate for its lower outside option and achieves a monopoly position with higher probability than its competitor.

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