Olympian Competition: Bidding For Olympic Television Rights

By John McMillan
2003 | Case No. IB50
Competition is present, explicitly or implicitly, in many business negotiations. Rarely in buyer-seller negotiations are the bargainers stuck with each other; usually they have an alternative trading partner to whom they can turn. The terms of agreement that are negotiated will be shaped by the fact that the alternatives exist. The ability to exploit competition among potential trading partners is a major source of bargaining power. Competition within a negotiation works much like competition in a formal auction. The bidding for television rights described in this case is, in essence, the same as bidding elsewhere. (The case could be used in courses on managerial economics, game theory, and sports management.)
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