Strategia cen drapieżnych - teoria a praktyka
Predatory pricing strategy - theory and practice
Temat cen drapieżnych pojawiła się w związku z prowadzeniem ostrej walki z konkurencją, jaka stosowały firmy pod koniec XIX wieku. Artykuł opisuje istotę zjawiska zwanego strategią cen drapieżnych (predatory pricing) oraz główne jego założenia.
Description of the nature of the phenomenon called the predatory pricing strategy and its main assumptions in a most general way does not pose any problems. According to the text-book definition, the company adopting predatory pricing strategy wants to impose on its competitors exit from the market, or to discourage potential rivals from entering this market. In order to reach this goal the predator lowers the prices first, and then when the competitors leave the market, the predator company increases the price. After a drop the price is lower then the cost of the product manufacturing. The appliance of the predatory pricing strategy results in losses for both: the predator and the prey. However, after the prey leaves the market, the predator raises the price to the monopoly level. It allows „making up" for the hitherto losses, and what is more important, reclaiming the dominant position on the market. Therefore, the prey expects the long--term profits that are worthy even temporary sacrifice. The Author poses a question: why such a simple theory stirs so many questions that engage attention of many economists? Then, she answers that one of the reasons is undoubtedly the fact that the use of this strategy proved before the court of law is penalised. Moreover, such actions often facilitate strengthening of monopoly, which incites the justified concern of the antimonopoly office. There is an opinion that companies using predatory pricing strategy spread unfair competition and pose a real threat to the free market. The cases when a particular company is accused of using this strategy usually have their epilogue in the court. If the use of prohibited practices is proved, the company has to pay a large retribution. Thus, the costs of the losses caused by lowering prices due to the applied predatory pricing strategy, are supplemented with court charges, costs of the case, and a possible fine. However, not all economists agree with the opinion that the strategy of predatory pricing may be used for concentration or even monopolization of the market. Although both the opponents and backers of the above theory do not support monopoly, they present different attitude to this problem. Those, who refuse rational justification to worries directed against predatory pricing, claim that without a doubt lowering prices is always positive and desired, regardless of the reason for it, and on no accounts it should be punished. Even if it means further strengthening of the position of the already market dominating company, because lower prices serve the consumers' interests. The opponents of admitting that predatory pricing poses a rational threat for the fair play rules, posing as rational and farsighted defenders of the consumers' rights. Therefore, the heated discussion that was ignited by the problem of predatory pricing is not particularly strange. The elements of this discussion are presented in the article. (original abstract)
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