Private labels in marketplaces

Radostina Shopova

This paper investigates the implications of vertical integration with private labels in the marketplace model opposed to the classic wholesale model. Differently
from classic retailers, on a marketplace firms set end-consumer prices and the intermediary collects fees. When introducing a lower-quality version of a product, a marketplace owner does not have an incentive to increase the cost of the outside seller and foreclose him. In order to protect revenues from the seller channel, a marketplace owner overprices his product, compared to a retailer or stand-alone monopolist, and decreases the fee. I demonstrate that offering a lower quality is indeed optimal for both marketplace owner and classic retailer, with the former differentiating more from the seller's offering. This harms the seller less, but improves the consumer surplus less compared to a retailer.

Department of Economics
No. of pages
Publication date
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502021 Microeconomics
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