e study firms’ compatibility choices in the presence of consumers’ switching costs. We analyze both a model of once-and-for-all compatibility choices and that of dynamic choices. Contrary to what happens in a static setting in which firms embrace compatibility to soften the current competition (Matutes and Régibeau, 1988), when consumer lock-in arises due to a significant switching cost, firms make their products incompatible in order to soften future competition, regardless of the model we consider. This reduces consumer surplus and social welfare.
Compatibility; Incompatibility; Switching Cost; Lock-in;
- D43: Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- L13: Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L41: Monopolization • Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
TSE Working Paper, n. 16-691, September 2016, revised December 2018