2001/18 LEM Working Paper Series

Technology Strategies in the Knowldge Economy. The Licensing Activity of Himont
F. Cesaroni
Corporate Strategies, Technology Licensing, Chemical Industry, Division of Innovative Labour, Markets for Technology, Antitrust Policy.

The exchange of technologies and technological knowledge - through joint-ventures, partnerships, licensing, cross-licensing, R&D contracts - and the upsurge of markets for technology are main features of the "knowledge-based" economy. Competitive strengths are shifting from technological aspects to different levels of competitive behaviour, and companies are gradually changing their aptitude towards technology trading and exchange. The aim of this paper is to discuss the extent of technology licensing in chemicals, and specifically of one large firm - Himont - widely involved in licensing its process technologies. By analysing this case study, this paper explores the motivations for technology licensing, the managerial solutions that Himont adopted for licensing its technologies, and the implications of this strategy in terms of antitrust policy. One of the main result emerging from the analysis is the role of external technology suppliers. By increasing the potential competition in the product market, they create incentives for incumbent firms to license-out their technologies, and earn profits in the market for technology.

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