The Economics of Predatory Pricing

Predatory pricing “is alleged to occur when a firm sets a price for its product that is below some measure of cost and forfeits revenues in the short run to put competitors out of business” (Sheffet p.163-164). The reason firms take the short term loss is because they hope to drive out competitors and raise prices to monopolistic levels. By doing this, they covered their short term loss to make even greater profits in the long term than they would have by not using predatory tactics (Sheffert). Predatory pricing became illegal under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. It has remained one of the more difficult allegations for prosecutors to prove, due to the complexity of determining the company’s actual intent and whether or not it the strategy is competitive pricing. According to Areeda and Turner, there are three ways to determine if a firm is implementing predatory pricing. First, a price above marginal cost is presumed lawful; second, a price below marginal cost is considered unlawful, except when there is strong demand; and …



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