Price leadership

Preisführerschaft ist ein absatzpolitisches Verhalten auf Märkten, die von wenigen mächtigen Wettbewerbern dominiert werden, wodurch diese ein Oligopoly bilden.

If the strongest company as a pioneer raises or lowers its selling price, the other oligopolists often join in after a short time (example: gasoline and energy price increases). The tacit consent of the company, but also prohibited price agreements and price cartels, can be the cause in individual cases.

Further explanation:

Die konkurrenzorientierte Preisbildung ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die Pricing policy eines Unternehmens nach dem so genannten Preisführer richtet. Als Preisführer wird derjenige Anbieter bezeichnet, der als erster den Preis ändert. Nach George J. Stigler sind grundsätzlich zwei Arten der Preisführerschaft zu unterscheiden:

  • Dominant price leadership
  • Barometric price leadership

With the dominant price leadership, a large supplier determines the price and the smaller competitors follow his policy. Such behavior is e.g. B. can be observed in the automotive, mineral oil and cigarette markets.

In the case of barometric price leadership, there is a group of competitors who are roughly equally strong. Among them, one provider is recognized as the price leader. The company that works best takes on the role of price leader

is able to assess the market situation, that is to say as sensitively as a barometer records the respective situation. It doesn't always have to be the same provider, so the price leader can change.

A special form of barometric price leadership consists in the fact that over time every competitor appears once as price leader in order to avoid conflicts with the antitrust law. This behavior can at times be observed in the automotive industry or in the banking sector. The co-providers act in lockstep without having coordinated their behavior.

The deliberate parallel behavior is allowed under antitrust law, while coordinated behavior is prohibited according to § 1 GWB.

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