Vertical integration and product innovation

2010-02-04T12:12:30Z (GMT) by Arijit Mukherjee Piercarlo Zanchettin
We study vertical integration and product innovation (in the form of horizontal product differentiation) as interdependent strategic choices of vertically related firms. We consider product innovation in the downstream market as a strategic decision of innovative firms facing a threat of vertical integration and market foreclosure by an upstream monopolist. Our main finding is that, although product differentiation allows to soften product market competition and to avoid market foreclosure, the downstream market may prefer less product differentiation to deter vertical integration. Therefore, less product innovation can be a possible social cost of a lenient antitrust policy.