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Average Cost Pricing Rule

Average Cost Pricing Rule

What Is the Average Cost Pricing Rule?

The average cost pricing rule is a normalized pricing strategy that regulators impose on certain businesses to limit what those companies are able to charge their consumers for its products or services to a price equivalent to the costs important to make the product or service. This infers that businesses will set the unit price of a product moderately close to the average cost expected to deliver it. This rule generally applies to legal syndications like regulated public utilities.

How the Average Cost Pricing Rule Works

This pricing method is many times imposed on natural, or legal, restraining infrastructures. Certain industries, (for example, power plants) benefit from restraining infrastructure since large economies of scale can be accomplished.

Nonetheless, permitting restraining infrastructures to be unregulated can deliver monetarily unsafe outcomes, for example, price-fixing. Since regulators for the most part permits the monopoly to charge a small price increase amount above of cost, average cost pricing hopes to cure this situation by permitting the monopoly to operate and earn a normal profit.

Average-cost pricing practices have been widely upheld by empirical studies, and the pricing practice is adopted by a large number of small and large companies in many industries.

Using an average-cost pricing strategy, a producer charges, for every product or service unit sold, just the expansion to total cost coming about because of materials and direct labor. Businesses will frequently set prices close to marginal cost on the off chance that sales are languishing. If, for instance, a thing has a marginal cost of $1 and a normal selling price is $2, the firm selling the thing could wish to bring down the price to $1.10 on the off chance that demand has faded. The business would pick this approach on the grounds that the steady profit of 10 pennies from the transaction is better than no sale by any means.

Average-cost pricing is very much utilized as the reason for a regulatory policy for public utilities (particularly those that are natural syndications) in which the price received by a firm is set equivalent to the average total cost of production. The great thing about average-cost pricing is that a regulated public utility is guaranteed a normal profit, as a rule named a fair rate of return. Something terrible about average-cost pricing is that marginal cost is not exactly average total cost implying that price is greater than marginal cost.

Average-Cost Pricing versus Marginal-Cost Pricing

On the other hand, marginal-cost pricing happens when the price received by a firm is equivalent to the marginal cost of production. It is generally utilized for comparison of other regulatory policies, for example, average-cost pricing, that are utilized for public utilities (particularly those that are natural restraining infrastructures). Nonetheless, a normal profit isn't guaranteed for natural restraining infrastructures, which might be the reason average-cost pricing is more applicable to natural imposing business models.


  • The average cost pricing rule is a regulatory requirement that a business charge its customers a maximum amount in light of the average unit cost of production.
  • In view of competition among firms in free market situations, prices offered by producers will more often than not fall to their average cost of production over the long haul as one company seeks the market share of the others by offering the most minimal cost product.
  • The rule is normally applied exclusively to natural or legal syndications, for example, public utilities, to forestall price-fixing or different types of monopolistic advantage.