Subject: Re: A few thoughts.
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 22:22:47 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 14 Aug 1998 shap@eros.cis.upenn.edu wrote:
> There are many markets in which there is a single dominant provider
> and a secondary provider.  Generally the secondary provider has less
> than half the market share of the primary.
> 
> Do any markets occur to you in which two major providers remain at
> parity for any length of time?

I'm not sure any markets occur, anywhere, in which more than one major
provider remains in business for any length of time.  In general, each
competitor occupies their own niche -- a particular kind of customer, a
particular geographic area, etc.  In a sense, each one is competing in
their own market.

If two providers are selling exactly the same product, people will
simply buy whichever one is cheaper.

(Of course, in real life, people aren't entirely rational, it takes
time to grow capacity to supply a market, people have incomplete
information, no supplier is entirely reliable, etc., etc.  But I don't
think most apparent sharing of markets stems from these factors, but
rather because the different competitors are competing in slightly
different, overlapping markets.)

Kragen