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Technology Licensing by Advertising Supported Media Platforms: An Application to Internet Search Engines

Author

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  • Sapi Geza

    () (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin))

  • Suleymanova Irina

    () (Heinrich-Heine Universität)

Abstract

We develop a duopoly model with advertising supported platforms and analyze incentives of a superior firm to license its advanced technologies to an inferior rival. We highlight the role of two technologies characteristic for media platforms: the technology to produce content and to place advertisements. Licensing incentives are driven solely by indirect network effects arising from the aversion of users to advertising. We establish a relationship between licensing incentives and the nature of technology, the decision variable on the advertiser side, and the structure of platforms’ revenues. Only the technology to place advertisements is licensed. If users are charged for access, licensing incentives vanish. Licensing increases the advertising intensity, benefits advertisers and harms users. Our model provides a rationale for technology-based cooperations between competing platforms, such as the planned Yahoo-Google advertising agreement in 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Sapi Geza & Suleymanova Irina, 2011. "Technology Licensing by Advertising Supported Media Platforms: An Application to Internet Search Engines," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-51, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:37
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bardhan, Pranab, 1987. "Alternative Approaches to the Theory of Institutions in Economic Development," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4t97z6v6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    5. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Virginia Economics Online Papers 358, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    6. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
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    8. Esther Gal-Or & Anthony Dukes, 2003. "Minimum Differentiation in Commercial Media Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 291-325, September.
    9. Andrea Shepard, 1987. "Licensing to Enhance Demand for New Technologies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 360-368.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
    2. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    3. Clémence Christin, 2013. "Entry Deterrence Through Cooperative R&D Over-Investment," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(2), pages 5-26.
    4. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-23.
    5. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-23.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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