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

  • Sapi Geza


    (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin))

  • Suleymanova Irina


    (Heinrich-Heine Universität)

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.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-51

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:37
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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Gallini, Nancy T., 1987. "Second-sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4zr9b9dr, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. 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, 09.
  3. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
  5. Claude Crampes & Carole Haritchabalet & Bruno Jullien, 2009. "ADVERTISING, COMPETITION AND ENTRY IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 7-31, 03.
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