Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 159–174 | Cite as

Ex-ante Agreements and FRAND Commitments in a Repeated Game of Standard-Setting Organizations

  • Gastón LlanesEmail author


I study licensing and technology choice in standard setting. I find that there may be inefficient adoption of technologies, even when firms commit to a maximum royalty or price cap for the use of their patents. When firms interact repeatedly to develop standards, a commitment to set fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalty fees may lead to more efficient technologies and higher surplus for all parties. This result can explain why standard-setting organizations favor FRAND commitments over more structured licensing commitments—such as price caps—and why there are been relatively few cases of hold-up in practice, even though such opportunistic behavior has been a primary cause of concern for innovation economists.


Standard formation Standard-setting organizations Hold-up Price caps FRAND commitments Repeated games Relational contracts 

Mathematics Subject Classification

O31 O34 L15 L40 



A previous version of the paper circulated under the name “Licensing rules and technology choice in Standard Setting Organizations.” I am grateful to Stefano Trento, Francisco Ruiz-Aliseda, and participants of seminars at the 2011 EARIE Conference (Stockholm, Sweden), the 2011 LACEA-LAMES Conference (Santiago, Chile), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, and Universidad Alberto Hurtado for useful comments and suggestions. I gratefully acknowledge financial support from Conicyt (Fondecyt No. 1150326) and the Institute for Research in Market Imperfections and Public Policy, MIPP, ICM IS130002, Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escuela de AdministraciónPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMaculChile

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