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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Modelling strategic information technology impact on inter-firm competition: pricing Nault, Barrie R.


This research studies normative pricing strategies for information technology (IT) used by suppliers to supplement an underlying primary good. Transactions with consumers and customer firms are considered. Characteristics of IT are divided into IT impacts on customers, and IT impacts on suppliers. IT impacts on customers include vertical differentiation or reduced turnover costs for the primary good, and positive IT adoption costs. IT impacts on suppliers include reduced production costs for the primary good, and the costs of IT. Optimal pricing for the IT and the primary good is modelled for monopoly, and Bertrand competition based on IT and the primary good is modelled for oligopoly. Two part tariffs are used for the IT and IT enhanced primary good. Results of pricing to consumers show that the fixed component of an optimal (or equilibrium) two part tariff can either be a net tax or a net subsidy, confirming the possibility of taxed or subsidized IT adoption. For the monopolist offering the IT and IT enhanced primary good only, the consumer's adoption/switching cost limits the possible subsidy. Consistent with previous economics research, in a duopoly where one supplier has IT, the IT supplier abandons the original primary good. Two suppliers with identical IT cannot attain a positive profit equilibrium. Analogous results obtain for a special case of pricing to customer firms. Empirical results support differential (premium) pricing for an IT enhanced primary good over an original good.

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