Working paper 02/048 - Abstract

Bilateral Control with Vertical Contracts (PDF, file 325 KB) (PDF, 324kB)
* formerly entitled 'A Note on Vertical Control with Bilateral Contracts'

Patrick Rey and Thibaud Vergé

When a manufacturer contracts secretly with competing retailers he is subject to opportunism, and linear or non-linear tariffs may not allow the manufacturer to maintain monopoly prices. To analyse the effects of RPM, O'Brien-Shaffer (1992) use a concept of contract equilibrium which concentrates on pairwise deviations thereby questioning the robustness of the analysis. This paper emphasises the distinction between the contract equilibrium and standard non-cooperative concepts. We advocate for some caution in the use of the former concept, as if overlooks an inexistence problem. We then confirm the intuition that RPM can help solve the manufacturer's commitment problem. This confirms that O'Brien-Shaffer's insight is robust and validates the courts' reluctance against RPM.