Market power in Austrian food retailing: the case of milk products

An increasing market concentration in food retailing has generated concerns about the market power of retailers towards consumers and input suppliers. This is especially true for countries such as Austria, which has a CR-3 in food retailing greater than 75 percent. Based on a New Empirical Industrial Organisation model we estimate the market power of food retailers towards consumers and input suppliers with respect to three groups of dairy products (drinking milk, cheese, butter including others). Our empirical results suggest that market power of retailing exists towards consumers (in particular in the case of drinking milk) and towards input suppliers (in particular in the case of butter and other milk products). Market power is more significant (in statistical terms) downstream than upstream. However, the impact of oligopsony power on input prices is stronger than the impact of oligopoly power on consumer prices.