Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Two-Sided Competition of Proprietary vs. Open Source Technology Platforms and the Implications for the Software Industry

Contents:

Author Info

  • Nicholas Economides

    ()
    (Stern School of Business, New York University, 44 West 4th Street, New York, New York 10012)

  • Evangelos Katsamakas

    ()
    (Graduate School of Business, Fordham University, 113 West 60th Street, New York, New York 10023)

Abstract

Technology platforms, such as Microsoft Windows, are the hubs of technology industries. We develop a framework to characterize the optimal two-sided pricing strategy of a platform firm; that is, the pricing strategy toward the direct users of the platform as well as toward firms offering applications that are complementary to the platform. We compare industry structures based on a proprietary platform (such as Windows) with those based on an open source platform (such as Linux), and analyze the structure of competition and industry implications in terms of pricing, sales, profitability, and social welfare. We find that, when the platform is proprietary, the equilibrium prices for the platform, the applications, and the platform access fee for applications may be below marginal cost, and we characterize demand conditions that lead to this. The proprietary applications sector of an industry based on an open source platform may be more profitable than the total profits of a proprietary platform industry. When users have a strong preference for application variety, the total profits of the proprietary industry are larger than the total profits of an industry based on an open source platform. The variety of applications is larger when the platform is open source. When a system based on an open source platform with an independent proprietary application competes with a proprietary system, the proprietary system is likely to dominate the open source platform industry both in terms of market share and profitability. This may explain the dominance of Microsoft in the market for PC operating systems.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0549
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1057-1071

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:7:p:1057-1071

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Email:
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: networks; network effects; network externalities; complements; systems; open source software; technology platforms; software industry structure;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2005. "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1494-1504, October.
  2. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 10956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joseph Farrell and Michael L. Katz., 2000. "Innovation, Rent Extraction, and Integration in Systems Markets," Economics Working Papers E00-286, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Nicholas Economides, 1995. "The Economics of Networks," Working Papers 94-24, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1995.
  5. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Desirability of Compatibility in the Absence of Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1165-81, December.
  6. Mustonen, Mikko, 2003. "Copyleft--the economics of Linux and other open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 99-121, March.
  7. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
  8. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau, 1988. ""Mix and Match": Product Compatibility without Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 221-234, Summer.
  9. Economides, Nicholas & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Competition and Integration among Complements, and Network Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-23, March.
  10. Jürgen Bitzer & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2003. "Competition and Innovation in a Technology Setting Software Duopoly," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 363, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Mikko Mustonen, 2005. "When Does a Firm Support Substitute Open Source Programming?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 121-139, 03.
  12. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
  13. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Pankaj Ghemawat, 2006. "Dynamic Mixed Duopoly: A Model Motivated by Linux vs. Windows," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1072-1084, July.
  14. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:7:p:1057-1071. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.