This paper studies an instance of price and quality competition between firms as seen in the recent Internet market. Consumers purchase a product based on not only its price but also its quality level; therefore, two firms compete in determining their prices and quality levels to maximize their profits. Characterizing this competition from a microeconomic viewpoint, we consider two possible business strategies that firms can utilize to overcome the competition-the differentiation and the vertical integration with another complementary firm. We show an interesting result not seen in the well-known Bertrand price competition: not only does the differentiation always increase the firms' profits, but also it can increase the consumer's welfare in a quality-sensitive market. We further derive that under some mild conditions the monopolistic vertical integration that excludes the combination-purchase with a competitor's product is beneficial for both the integrated firm and its consumers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)
- Modelling and Simulation
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Information Systems and Management