Price Discrimination and Countertrade
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Publication date: 2007-03-31
GNPJE 2007;214(3):67-84
The aim of the paper is to examine the conditions in which companies use countertrade to hide their price discrimination practices and maintain a strong negotiating position with regard to their commercial partners. The analysis was made on the basis of two models. First, the authors present an innovative model for third-degree discrimination in which countertrade is used to conceal price differences; then they build a model in which countertrade promotes second-degree price discrimination. In the third-degree price discrimination model, the authors prove that the effective use of products as payment in countertrade deals, coupled with the relatively high probability that price discrimination will be revealed, encourages companies to diversify prices in different market segments with the use of tie-in transactions. On the other hand, in the second-degree price discrimination model, if the marginal costs of production are not too high in relation to the value of the mutual services, the monopoly will offer its customers the possibility of buying goods in an ordinary market transaction or in a tie-in. At a point of balance, both forms of trade will occur, but prices in countertrade will be lower than market prices. The authors show that, under specific conditions, countertrade is a useful tool for maximizing business profit by enabling price discrimination.
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