Alternatives to Vertical Integration

If the reduction of risk related to the actions of an independent supplier or buyer is a motivation for vertical integration, the firm may have alternatives to formally integrating into another stage of the value chain through use of a carefully constructed agreement with a supplier or buyer. Done correctly, these agreements can result in some of the gains a business might expect from formal integration of the other stage of value-adding activity.

If the concern is about the reliability of continued exchanges, the supplier firm can establish a long-term agreement to be the exclusive dealer to the buyer firm, or the buyer firm can contract to be the exclusive buyer from the seller firm. In the retail business, ...

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