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Barriers to Entry and Bargaining Power easy essay help American Literature coursework help

What are the critical drivers of industry profitability? Rivalry Among Existing Firms. The greater the degree of competition among firms in an industry, the lower average profitability is likely to be. The factors that influence existing firm rivalry are industry growth rate, concentration and balance of competitors, degree of differentiation and switching costs, scale/learning economies and the ratio of fixed to variable costs, and excess capacity and exit barriers. Threat of New Entrants. The threat of new entry can force firms to set prices to keep industry profits low.

The threat of new entry can be mitigated by economies of scale, first mover advantages to incumbents, greater access to channels of distribution and existing customer relationships, and legal barriers to entry. Threat of Substitute Products. The threat of substitute products can force firms to set lower prices, reducing industry profitability. The importance of substitutes will depend on the price sensitivity of buyers and the degree of substitutability among the products. Bargaining Power of Buyers. The greater the bargaining power of buyers, the lower the industry’s profitability.

Bargaining power of buyers will be determined by the buyers’ price sensitivity and their importance to the individual firm. As the volume of purchases of a single buyer increases, its bargaining power with the supplier increases. Bargaining Power of Suppliers. The greater the bargaining power of suppliers, the lower the industry’s profitability. Suppliers’ bargaining ability increases as the number of suppliers declines when there are few substitutes available. 6. ?Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both very profitable soft drinks. Inputs for these products include corn syrup, bottles/cans, and soft drink syrup.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi produce the syrup themselves and purchase the other inputs. They then enter into exclusive contracts with independent bottlers to produce their products. Use the five forces framework and your knowledge of the soft drink industry to explain how Coca-Cola and Pepsi are able to retain most of the profits in this industry. While consumers perceive an intensely competitive relationship between Coke and Pepsi, these major players in the soft drink industry have structured their businesses to retain most of the profits in the industry by concentrating operations in its least competitive segments.

Coke and Pepsi have segmented the soft drink industry into two industries—production of soft drink syrup and manufacturing/distribution of the soft drinks at the retail level. Moreover, they have chosen to operate primarily in the production of soft drink syrup, while leaving the independent bottlers with the more competitive segment of the industry. Coca-Cola and Pepsi compete primarily on brand image rather than on price. They sell their syrup to independent bottlers who have exclusive contracts to distribute soft drinks and other company products within a specific geographic area. While other syrup producers exist, they are typically regional and have very small shares of the market. ) Given the large number of competing forms of containers for soft drinks (glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, etc. ), it is difficult for bottlers to earn any more than a normal return on their investment. Consequently, Coke and Pepsi can write exclusive contracts with bottlers prohibiting them from simultaneously bottling for a competitor. It is also difficult for independent bottlers to switch from Coke to Pepsi products, since there is likely to be an existing Pepsi bottler in the same geographic area.

Consequently, independent bottlers have little bargaining power and Coke and Pepsi are able to charge them relatively high prices for syrup. The threat of new entrants at the syrup level is restricted by limited access to adequate distribution channels and by the valuable brand names that have been created by both Coke and Pepsi. While soda syrup is relatively inexpensive and easy to make, a new syrup producer would have difficulty finding a distributor that could get its products to retail stores and placed in desirable shelf space.

The high levels of advertising by Coke and Pepsi have created highly valued, universally recognized brands, which would be difficult for a potential competitor to replicate. The main ingredients of syrup are sugar and flavoring, and the markets for these inputs are generally competitive. As a result, Coke and Pepsi exert considerable influence over their suppliers. For example, in the 1980s when corn syrup became a less-expensive sweetener than cane sugar, Coke and Pepsi switched to corn syrup. Thus, Coke and Pepsi are able to retain profits rather than pay them out to their suppliers.

The production and distribution of soft drinks at the retail level is likely to be less profitable than is syrup production for several reasons. First, despite tremendous amounts of advertising designed to create differentiated products, many people view sodas as being relatively similar and switching costs for consumers are very low, which makes it difficult to price one soft drink significantly higher than another. Second, there are a great number of substitutes for soft drinks, such as water, milk, juice, athletic drinks, etc. , which consumers could switch to if the price of soda were to increase.

Third, because of low switching costs, consumers can be price sensitive and also exercise relative bargaining power over independent bottlers. Finally, as discussed before, the structure of the relationship between Coke and Pepsi and the independent bottlers gives Coke and Pepsi greater bargaining power over the bottlers, further limiting the ability of independent bottlers to keep a larger share of their profits. 8. What are the ways that a firm can create barriers to entry to deter competition in its business? What factors determine whether these barriers are likely to be enduring?

Barriers to entry allow a firm to earn profits while at the same time preventing other firms from entering the market. The primary sources of barriers to entry include economies of scale, absolute costs advantages, product differentiation advantages, and government restrictions on entry of competitors. Firms can create these barriers through a variety of means. 1. A firm can engineer and design its products, processes, and services to create economies of scale. Because of economies of scale, larger plants can produce goods at a lower cost that smaller plants.

Hence, a firm considering entering the existing firm’s market must be able to take advantage of the same scale economies or be forced to charge a higher price for its products and services. 2. Cost leaders have absolute cost advantages over rivals. Through the development of superior production techniques, investment in research and development, accumulation of greater operating experience or special access to raw materials, or exclusive contracts with distributors or suppliers, cost leaders operate at a lower cost than any potential new entrants to the market. . A firm can engineer and design its products, processes, and services to create economies of scale. Because of economies of scale, larger plants can produce goods at a lower cost that smaller plants. Hence, a firm considering entering the existing firm’s market must be able to take advantage of the same scale economies or be forced to charge a higher price for its products and services. 3. Differentiation of the firm’s products and services may also help create barriers to entry for other firms.

Firms often spend considerable resources to differentiate their products or services. Soft drink makers, for example, invest in advertising designed to differentiate their products from other products in the market. Other competitors that would like to enter the market will be forced to make similar investments in any new products. 4. Firms often try to persuade governments to impose entry restrictions through patents, regulations, and licenses. AT&T fought with the government for many years to prevent other providers of long distance telephone service from entering the market.

Similarly, the local Bell operating companies have lobbied the federal government to write laws to make it difficult for other firms to provide local phone service. Several factors influence how long specific barriers to entry are effective at preventing the entry of competitors into an industry. •Economies of scale depend on the size and growth of the market. If a market is growing quickly, a competitor could build a larger plant capable of producing at a cost lower than the incumbent. If a market is flat, there may not be enough demand to support additional production at the efficient scale, which forces new entrants to have higher costs. Absolute cost advantages depend on competitors’ difficulty in designing better processes. Some processes receive legal protection from patents. Entrants must either wait for the patent to expire or bear the expense of trying to invest around the patent. Similarly, differentiation advantages last only so long as a firm continues to invest in differentiation and it is difficult for other firms to replicate the same differentiated product or service. •Incumbent firms and potential entrants can both lobby the government.

If potential entrants launch intensive lobbying and public interest campaigns, laws, regulations, and rules can change to ease entry into a once-protected industry. Several recent examples in the U. S. are deregulation of the airline, trucking, banking, and telecommunications industries. 9.? Explain why you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: a.? It’s better to be a differentiator than a cost leader, since you can then charge premium prices. Disagree. While it is true that differentiators can charge higher prices compared to cost leaders, both strategies can be equally profitable.

Differentiation is expensive to develop and maintain. It often requires significant company investment in research and development, engineering, training, and marketing. Consequently, it is more expensive for companies to provide goods and services under a differentiated strategy. Thus, profitability of a firm using the differentiated strategy depends on being able to produce differentiated products or services at a cost lower than the premium price. On the other hand, the cost leadership strategy can be very profitable for companies.

A cost leader will often be able to maintain larger margins and higher turnover than its nearest competitors. If a company’s competitors have higher costs but match the cost leader’s prices, the competitors will be forced to have lower margins. Competitors that choose to keep prices higher and maintain margins will lose market share. Hence, being a cost leader can be just as profitable as being a differentiator. b. It’s more profitable to be in a high-technology industry than a low- technology one. Disagree. There are highly profitable firms in both high technology and low technology industries.

The argument presumes that high technology always creates barriers to entry. However, high technology is not always an effective entry barrier and can be associated with high levels of competition among existing firms, high threat of new entrants, substitute products, and high bargaining power of buyers and/or sellers. For example, the personal computer industry is a high-technology business, yet is highly competitive. There are very low costs of entering the industry, little product differentiation in terms of quality, and two very powerful suppliers (Microsoft and Intel).

Consequently, firms in the PC business typically struggle to earn a normal return on their capital. In contrast, Wal-Mart is a cost leader in a very low-tech industry, and is one of the most profitable companies in the U. S. c.? The reason why industries with large investments have high barriers to entry is because it is costly to raise capital. Disagree. The cost of raising capital is generally related to risk of the project rather than the size of the project. As long as the risks of the project are understood, the costs of raising the necessary capital will be fairly priced.

However, large investments can act as high entry barriers in several other ways. First, where large investments are necessary to achieve scale economies, if additional capacity will not be fully used, it may make it unprofitable for entrants to invest in new plant. Second, a new firm may be at an initial cost disadvantage as it begins to learn how to use the new assets in the most efficient manner. Third, existing firms may have excess capacity in reserve that they could use to flood the market if potential competitors attempt to enter the market.

Discussion: Female Heian Court Writings – Women Writer 4

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