This paper studies how product customization and consumer privacy affect a monopolist’s incentives to engage in perfect price discrimination. We consider a monopolist that faces an ex ante choice to commit to price discrimination or to a uniform price. We introduce a simple model in which a monopolist can use analytics to access consumer data to both price-discriminate and offer customized products. In turn, consumers can protect their privacy to avoid price discrimination at a cost. By committing not to price-discriminate, the firm induces consumers to not protect their data, which allows it to customize the product. It can then extract the extra value through an increased uniform price. This strategy is profitable when the value added through customization is sufficiently high. An intermediate quality of analytics gives the monopolist more incentives to set a uniform price.
Alexandre de Cornière, and Rodrigo Montes, “Consumer Privacy and the Incentives to Price-Discriminate in Online Markets”, The Review of Network Economics, vol. 16, n. 3, 2017, pp. 291–305.
The Review of Network Economics, vol. 16, n. 3, 2017, pp. 291–305