Merger Effects with Product Complementarity: Evidence from Colombia’s Telecommunications


Series: 
Working Papers
Number: 
1018
04
October
2017
Author(s) / Editor(s): 
Juan Vélez
borradores@banrep.gov.co
Publishing House: 
Banco de la República
JEL Classification: 

Mergers of firms producing complementary products have ambiguous effects on consumer welfare. Consumers benefit if the firm, motivated by the internalized profits created by the complementarity, lowers prices. Consumers are hurt if the firm uses bundles to exert price discrimination, making standalone products more expensive. To assess which effect dominates, I use an administrative dataset, which records prices, market shares, and plan attributes of the universe of Colombia’s telecom carriers. I estimate a random coefficients discrete choice model of demand for bundled and standalone telecom products, in which the degree of substitutability or complementarity among products is an essential parameter of interest. I find that major telecom products display a mix of substitutability and complementarity, but in general hardwired and mobile services are complements. Counterfactual experiments using the estimated model indicate positive net effects of mergers with complements: despite a small increase in the price of standalone goods, consumer surplus increased by around 11 million dollars per quarter after the Claro merger. On the other hand I find evidence that mergers between ISPs and mobile carriers reduce the likelihood of poorer households adopting faster broadband.

 

The series Borradores de Economía is published by the Economic Studies Department at the Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia). The works published are provisional, and their authors are fully responsible for the opinions expressed in them, as well as for possible mistakes. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.

Category / Classification: 
Documentos en elaboración

Contenido disponible en / Available in:

  • Español
  • English

This content has been translated into English for informational purposes. Upon any query regarding its interpretation or enforceability, the Spanish version shall be deemed official, and will prevail over the English version. The authors of specific texts such as working papers or articles select the language of publication; therefore, there might be cases in which the content may only be available in English. Este contenido ha sido traducido al inglés con fines informativos. En caso de duda sobre su interpretación y/o aplicación, se entenderá que la versión en español es la versión oficial y prevalecerá sobre aquella en inglés. Para casos particulares como documentos de trabajo o artículos, el idioma original de publicación es escogido por el autor, por lo cual puede haber casos en los que el contenido esté disponible sólo en inglés.