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We investigate the interplay between firms’ decisions in product development, either joint or independent, and their ensuing repeated pricing, either collusive or Bertrand–Nash. A joint venture develops a single product, whereas independent ventures develop their respective products which can be differentiated. We prove that joint product development and the resulting lack of horizontal product differentiation may destabilise collusion, whilst firms’ R&D decisions have no bearings on collusive sustainability if differentiation is vertical. We also discover the non-monotone dependence of firms’ venture decisions at the development stage upon their time preferences, as well as upon consumers’ willingness to pay.


NOTICE: this is an early author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Industrial Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Industrial Organization, volume 20, issue 6, in 2002. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-7187(00)00082-5

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