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The strategic use of download limits by a monopoly platform

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  • Nicholas Economides
  • Benjamin E. Hermalin

Abstract

type="main"> We offer a new explanation for why platforms, such as Internet service providers and mobile-phone networks, offer plans with download limits: through one of two mechanisms, doing so causes content providers to reduce prices or improve quality. This generates greater surplus for consumers, which a platform captures via higher consumer access fees. Even accounting for congestion externalities, a platform limits downloads more than would be welfare maximizing; indeed, by so much, that barring such practices can be welfare superior to what a platform would do. Paradoxically, a platform will install more bandwidth when it can restrict downloads than when it cannot.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Economides & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2015. "The strategic use of download limits by a monopoly platform," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 297-327, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:46:y:2015:i:2:p:297-327
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1756-2171.12087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Calzada, Joan & Martínez-Santos, Fernando, 2014. "Broadband prices in the European Union: Competition and commercial strategies," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 24-38.
    2. Shane Greenstein & Martin Peitz & Tommaso Valletti, 2016. "Net Neutrality: A Fast Lane to Understanding the Trade-Offs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 127-150, Spring.
    3. José Marino García García & Aurelia Valiño Castro & A. Jesús Sánchez Fuentes, 2016. "Price discrimination of ott providers under duopolistic competition and multi-dimmesional product differentiation in retail broadband access," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1607, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    4. Jean-Pascal Bassino & Aurélien Faravelon & Stéphane Grumbach, 2015. "Cross-Border Data Exchanges : The Rise of Platform Economy in Asia," Post-Print hal-01245080, HAL.
    5. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2016. "Platform-Intermediated Trade with Uncertain Quality," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(1), pages 5-29, March.
    6. Joan Calzada & Fernando Martínez-Santos, 2016. "Pricing strategies and competition in the mobile broadband market," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 70-98, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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