Japanese Newspapers

Flath, David

In Japan, newspapers enjoy a special exemption from antimonopoly prohibitions against resale price maintenance (suppliers’ stipulations that bar downstream firms from price discounting), but are each required to set uniform prices throughout Japan. In fact, the newspapers have rarely changed their subscription prices in recent years, and the three leading national dailies, together accounting for about half the total industry circulation, and thirteen other papers accounting for another one eighth of industry circulation, all have set exactly the same price (3,925 yen per month for combined morning-and-evening editions, and 3,007 yen per month for morning-only). The remaining local papers all set lower prices. Econometric analysis here shows that Japanese newspaper subscription prices are far below the levels that would maximize joint profit, given the newspaper content. The authorized resale price maintenance, and prohibition against prices that vary geographically, seems to have allowed only modest collusive price increases.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 334
Published Here
December 20, 2013