Impact of Intercompetitor Licensing on Remanufacturing Market Competition and Cooperation

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This article investigates the impact of intercompetitor licensing between an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and an independent remanufacturer (IR) on market competition between new and remanufactured products, the IR's remanufacturing strategy, and the IR's optimal quality choice for remanufactured products. In the considered supply chain, the OEM sells new products, and the IR collects used products and then sells remanufactured products to compete with the OEM. To produce remanufactured products, the IR can acquire remanufacturing technology either by paying a licensing fee to the OEM or self-developing it in-house by incurring a fixed research and development cost. We develop game-theoretic models to determine the optimal supply chain decisions concerning the royalty licensing fee, IR's remanufacturing strategy and production quality, and product sale prices. We find that a licensing contract will always induce the OEM and the IR to increase their sales price for new and remanufactured products. However, the OEM will always increase the sales price for new products to a larger degree than that of the IR. This can alleviate price competition between new and remanufactured products and make remanufactured products more competitive in the market. Under licensing cooperation, the IR will always remanufacture used products to a higher quality level that will intensify quality competition. No matter whether the royalty fee is exogenously or endogenously determined by the OEM, there exists a wide range of parameter regions such that a licensing contract will produce a win-win solution for the OEM and the IR. A licensing cooperation may be reached even when the unit royalty fee is at a relatively low level and the total royalty fee is higher than the self-development option.

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IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

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