DOI: 10.1515/bejte-2022-0148 ISSN: 1935-1704

A Theoretical Analysis of Collusion Involving Technology Licensing Under Diseconomies of Scale

Ted Lindblom, Aineas Mallios, Stefan Sjögren
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


This study focuses on firms with cost-efficient technology that use licensing to influence product market behaviour, market prices and outputs and the resulting welfare effects. We show how licensing fees can be constructed that lead to identical collective industry outputs as under collusion while industry output is equal to or higher than that achieved under competition and sustained in equilibrium. Hence, consumers are either indifferent to firms’ collusion or better off when they do collude, whereas firms (producers) are always better off due to the improved cost efficiency of integrating the new production technology. This provides a theoretical foundation that explains why technology licensing is observed in highly concentrated industries characterised by significant diseconomies of scale relative to demand. We contribute to the literature by demonstrating how technology licensing involving collusion can reduce the dissipation effect and improve social welfare in oligopolistic industries. An important policy implication is that collusion involving technology licensing should not always be challenged by antitrust authorities, particularly when it does not transfer welfare from consumers to producers.

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