Three Modes of Competition in the Marketplace


  • William Redmond


Competition is often thought of a fairly obvious thing, a rivalry. In a market context the meaning of competition is usually taken to be a rivalry among the sellers. The article seeks to broaden this view by considering other competitive relationships in the marketplace. Using the simplifying assumption that there are only two types of market actors, sellers and consumers, there are three possible types of relationships or interdependencies among these actors in a market. In competitive terms this includes the familiar competition among sellers but there is also the possibility of competition between sellers and consumers, as well as competition among consumers. The article outlines essential characteristics of the three modes. Implications of multi-mode competition for market performance and welfare are discussed.