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Optimal Bundling Strategies For Complements And Substitutes With Heavy-Tailed Valuations

Rustam Ibragimov

No 2088, Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers from Harvard - Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: We develop a framework that allows one to model the optimal bundling problem of a multiproduct monopolist providing interrelated goods with an arbitrary degree of complementarity or substitutability. Characterizations of optimal bundling strategies are derived for the seller in the case of long-tailed valuations and tastes for the products. We show, in particular, that if goods provided in a Vickrey auction or any other revenue equivalent auction are substitutes and bidders' tastes for the objects are not extremely heavy-tailed, then the monopolist prefers separate provision of the products. However, if the goods are complements and consumers' tastes are extremely thick- tailed, then the seller prefers providing the products on a single auction. We also present results on consumers' preferences over bundled auctions in the case when their valuations exhibit heavy-tailedness. In addition, we obtain characterizations of optimal bundling strategies for a monopolist who provides complements or substitutes for profit maximizing prices to buyers with long-tailed tastes.

Date: 2005
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