This paper explores the effects that collusion can have in newspaper markets where firms compete for advertising as well as for readership. We compare three modes of competition: (i) competition in the advertising and the reader market, (ii) semi-collusion over advertising (with competition in the reader market), and (iii) (full) collusion in both the advertising and the reader market. We find that semi-collusion leads to less advertising (but higher advertising prices) and lower copy prices which is beneficial for readers. Under certain circumstances, semi-collusion may even benefit advertisers as newspaper circulation is higher. In addition, total welfare may rise due to semi-collusion. Results under full collusion are ambiguous. However, even under full collusion newspaper copy prices may decrease and welfare may increase.
- Media markets
- Two-sided markets