This paper studies competition in price-quality menus within the context of a horizontally differentiated duopoly, where each firm also operates in a local, monopolistic market. It is assumed that the consumer's unobservable valuation for quality is determined by the nature of his preferences over brand product characteristics. I show that if competition between the two firms is sufficiently fierce, the equilibrium contract features overprovision of quality for sufficiently low types. Thus, with respect to the monopoly setting, competition may introduce new types of distortions, namely upward distortions. This suggests that the relationship between "toughness of competition" and welfare may not necessarily be monotonic.
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