This paper analyzes the economics of contemporaneous most-favored customer clauses (MFCC) in a non-cooperative n-firm oligopoly. In the first stage of a two-stage game, each firm independently decides whether to adopt MFCC; in the second stage, firms set prices non-cooperatively, given the first stage choices. In contrast to work on retroactive MFCC by Cooper [The RAND Journal of Economics (1986, 17, 377-388)], our analysis shows that not adopting MFCC can be a dominant strategy. The difference between our results and Cooper's highlights important differences between retroactive and contemporaneous MFCC and suggests that MFCC are a less powerful facilitating practice than retroactive MFCC. Our analysis also sheds new light on Grether and Plott's [Economic Inquiry (1984, 22, 497-507)] experimental results regarding the effects of MFCC on average industry prices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Industrial relations
- Aerospace Engineering
- Economics and Econometrics
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
- Strategy and Management
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering