Reinforcing Buyer Power: Trade Quotas and Supply Diversification in the EU Natural Gas Market

S. Ikonnikova, G. Zwart

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output


We consider a market with concentrated domestic buyers and concentrated foreign sellers and explore the extent to which domestic regulation helps to increase the buyers' countervailing power against the foreign sellers. We use the Shapley value to describe the distribution of the trade surplus and market power in this bilateral oligopoly. With the EU natural gas market in mind, we consider how a regulator (the EU) can use import quotas and encourage supply diversification to strengthen the buyers' power and increase their surplus. We find that buyers can benefit from bilateral but not aggregate trade restrictions. Those who invest in supply diversification gain, with other buyers enjoying positive externalities; sellers lose profits and power. Thus we provide a rationale for the current EU support for importers' investment plans.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameTILEC Discussion Paper


  • buyer power
  • Shapley value
  • strategic trade policy
  • natural gas market


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