Why Lever into a Zero-Profit Industry: Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion
This paper considers the incentives of a firm with power in a market for one good to tie in the sale of a complementary good even though the complementary good is produced in a zero profit market. If the zero-profit price of the tied good is greater than the marginal cost (which occurs for example when the technology is characterized by a fixed cost and a constant marginal cost), a firm will fie in order to increase the sales of the complementary good, which at the margin is profitable. We show that such tying will lower the effective prices paid by customers and increase welfare. This incentive exists if the firm with market power is a monopolist or one of several competing oligopolists.