Razors and Blades

We all know that Gillette got started by giving away razors and charging for the blades. And we all know that razors-and-blades is a successful economic strategy. Except that it didn’t. And it typically isn’t. And when it is, the reasons are often mysterious. All this, and more than you ever cared to know about the early history of competition in the disposable razor business in Randy Picker’s charming new paper “The Razors-and-Blades Myth.” (h/t to Daniel Sokol’s Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog.)

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