Integration and Search Engine Bias
AbstractCompetition authorities all over the world worry that integration between search engines (mainly Google) and publishers could lead to abuses of dominant position.� In particular, one concern is that of own-content bias, meaning that Google would bias its rankings in favor of the publishers it owns or has an interest in, to the detriment of competitors and users.� In order to investigate this issue, we develop a theoretical framework in which the search engine (i) allocates users across publishers, and (ii) competes with publishers to attract advertisers.� We show that the search engine is biased against publishers that display many ads - even without integration.� Although integration may lead to own-content bias, it can also reduce bias by increasing the value of a marginal consumer to the search engine.� Integration also has a positive effect on users by reducing the nuisance costs due to excessive advertising.� Its net effect is therefore ambiguous in general, and we provide sufficient conditions for it to be desirable or not.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 651.
Date of creation: 26 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Search engine; integration; advertising;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
- L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2013-04-20 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MIC-2013-04-20 (Microeconomics)
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