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Authors

Jae Do Song

Abstract

When a channel is vertically separated, there can be inefficiencies, double marginalization. Channel coordination to amend this inefficiency has been an important issue in marketing and economics. Channel coordination deals with maximization of joint profit and achieving proper profit sharing among participants. In this paper, a manufacturer and heterogeneous multiple retailers with exclusive territory are assumed, and channel coordination with two-part tariff is considered. When multiple heterogeneous retailers are assumed, profit sharing can be an issue even though the tariffs based on marginal cost can maximize joint profit. In case of multiple heterogeneous retailers, the manufacturer earns the same profit (fixed fee) from each retailer. This means that a large retailer occupies all the gaps of channel profit between small and large markets. Then, the manufacturer, which generally plays the role of Stackelberg leader, will consider increasing fixed price or marginal price to earn more profit from large retailer. Those reactions can sacrifice maximization of joint profit by making small retailer withdraw or by changing the sales quantities. In this paper, to maximize joint profit and achieve proper profit sharing, two kinds of optional tariffs are considered. The first is an optional two-part tariff based on marginal cost and the second is an optional modified two-part tariff in which marginal prices are higher than the manufacturer`s marginal cost. In both types of optional tariffs, maximization of joint profit in each market can be achieved. Moreover, optional tariffs alleviate the problem of profit sharing. Optional tariffs can provide a manufacturer more profit from a large retailer when profit from a small retailer is given. However, the analysis shows that the maximum share of manufacturer from a large retailer is restricted by the condition for self-selection. In case of optional two-part tariffs based on marginal cost, if the gap between demands is large, the maximum share of the manufacturer is sufficient to achieve proper profit sharing. If the gap between demands is not sufficiently large, the manufacturer cannot earn sufficient share from increased profit. An optional modified two-part tariff where marginal price is more than marginal cost of manufacturer is considered because of this scenario. The marginal price above the marginal cost may additionally control the distribution of the increased profit. However, the analysis shows that a manufacturer`s maximum profit from a large retailer with given profit from a small retailer is the same as or lower than the maximum profit when optional two-part tariffs based on marginal cost are applied. Therefore, it can be concluded that the optional modified tariffs do not have additional contribution to profit sharing relative to the tariffs based on marginal cost. Although this paper does not cover all kinds of optional tariffs that are different from tariffs based on marginal cost, it shows the advantage of optional tariffs based on marginal cost and has important theoretical implications. The result of this paper also gives guide for channel coordination. Optional two-part tariff based on marginal cost can increase efficiency in channel coordination.

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