Keywords: Patent licensing, Two-part tariff contracts, Vertical mergers
Abstract: An independent research laboratory owns a patented process innovation ready to be used by an industry that produces differentiated goods. We analyze whether the laboratory prefers to license the innovation as an external patentee or to merge with one of the firms in the industry, licensing the innovation as an internal patentee. Under linear demand and Cournot competition, we show first, that the vertical merger is profitable only in the case of small innovations, whereas a merger increases welfare only for significant innovations; second, all profitable vertical mergers reduce welfare. However, some profitable mergers are welfare improving under price competition.