Rafael Moner-Colonques, José J. Sempere-Monerris and Amparo Urbano

This paper shows that a multiproduct firm may find it optimal not to delegate the sales of all products and therefore to employ different distribution channels for different products. It faces the following trade-off: There is a strategic effect associated with delegation, but if both products’ sales are delegated, intrafirm competition is not internalized. By delegating the sales of just one of the products while selling the other product directly—partial delegation—the multiproduct manufacturer strikes just the right compromise: The externalities between its owns products are internalized partially while a strategic advantage is achieved against its rival single-product manufacturer. Partial delegation also holds if both products are sold by a common retailer; it dominates full delegation when both manufacturers are multiproduct firms.