Analyzing online B2B exchange markets: Asymmetric cost and incomplete information

Yung-Ming Li*, Jhih Hua Jhang-Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This research applies the discriminating auction to analyze the online B2B exchange market in which a single buyer requests multiple items and several suppliers having equal capacity and asymmetric cost submit bids to compete for buyer demand. In the present model, we examine the impact of asymmetric cost and incomplete information on the participants in the market. Given the complete cost information, each supplier randomizes its price and the lower bound of the price range is determined by the highest marginal cost. In addition, the supplier with a lower marginal cost has a larger considered pricing space but ultimately has a smaller equilibrium one than others with higher marginal costs. When each supplier's marginal cost is private information, the lowest possible price is determined by the number of suppliers and the buyer's reservation price. Comparing these two market settings, we find whether IT is beneficial to buyers or suppliers depends on the scale of the bid process and the highest marginal cost. When the number of suppliers and the difference between the highest marginal cost and the buyer's reservation price are sufficiently large, each supplier can gain a higher profit if the marginal costs are private information. On the contrary, when the highest marginal cost approaches the buyer's reservation price, complete cost information benefits the suppliers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-731
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Auctions
  • Economics
  • Game theory
  • Online exchanges
  • Supplier competition


Dive into the research topics of 'Analyzing online B2B exchange markets: Asymmetric cost and incomplete information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this