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Platform intermediation in a market for differentiated products

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  • Galeotti, Andrea
  • Moraga-González, José Luis

Abstract

We study a two-sided market where a platform attracts firms selling differentiated products and buyers interested in those products. In the subgame perfect equilibrium of the game, the platform fully internalises the network externalities present in the market and firms and consumers all participate in the platform with probability one. The monopolist intermediary extracts all the economic rents generated in the market, except when firms and consumers can trade outside the platform, in which case consumers obtain a rent that corresponds to the utility they would get if they did trade outside the platform. The market allocation is constraint-efficient in the sense that the monopoly platform does not introduce distortions over and above those arising from the market power of the differentiated product sellers. An increase in the number of retailers increases the amount of variety in the platform but at the same time increases competition. As a result, the platform lowers the firm fees and raises the consumer charges. In contrast, an increase in the extent of product differentiation raises the value of the platform for the consumers but weakens competition. In this case, the platform raises both the charge to the consumers and the fee for the firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Galeotti, Andrea & Moraga-González, José Luis, 2009. "Platform intermediation in a market for differentiated products," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 417-428, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:4:p:417-428
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    Cited by:

    1. Gautier, Pieter A. & Hu, Bo & Watanabe, Makoto, 2016. "Marketmaking Middlemen," IZA Discussion Papers 10152, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Oksana Loginova & Andrea Mantovani, 2019. "Price competition in the presence of a web aggregator," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 43-73, January.
    3. Watanabe Makoto, 2020. "Middlemen: A Directed Search Equilibrium Approach," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 1-37, June.
    4. Parakhonyak, Alexei & Titova, Maria, 2018. "Shopping malls, platforms and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 183-213.
    5. Nestor Duch-Brown, 2017. "Platforms to business relations in online platform ecosystems," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2017-07, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose L. & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2011. "Comparison sites," IESE Research Papers D/933, IESE Business School.
      • Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011. "Comparison Sites," Working Papers 2011-04, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    7. Sjaak Hurkens & Angel L. Lopez, 2010. "Mobile Termination, Network Externalities, and Consumer Expectations," Working Papers 441, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    8. DongJoon Lee & Kangsik Choi & Tatsuhiko Nariu, 2020. "Endogenous vertical structure with network externalities," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 88(6), pages 827-846, December.
    9. Belleflamme, Paul & Toulemonde, Eric, 2016. "Who benefits from increased competition among sellers on B2C platforms?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 741-751.
    10. Reisinger, Markus, 2014. "Two-part tariff competition between two-sided platforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 168-180.
    11. Paul Belleflamme & Martin Peitz, 2019. "Managing competition on a two‐sided platform," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 5-22, January.
    12. Heiko Karle & Martin Peitz & Markus Reisinger, 2020. "Segmentation versus Agglomeration: Competition between Platforms with Competitive Sellers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2329-2374.
    13. Carlotta Mariotto & Marianne Verdier, 2020. "Platform–merchant competition for sales services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 834-853, October.
    14. Hui Song, 2014. "Electronic Platforms in a Consumer Search Model," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 170(4), pages 704-730, December.
    15. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2013. "The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses," NBER Working Papers 18783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Todeva, Emanuela, 2013. "Governance of Innovation and Intermediation in Triple Helix Interactions," MPRA Paper 67612, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Chhabra, Meenal & Das, Sanmay & Sarne, David, 2014. "Expert-mediated sequential search," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 861-873.
    18. Shen, Bo & Wright, Julian, 2019. "Why (don’t) firms free ride on an intermediary’s advice?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 27-54.
    19. Chen, Yongmin & Zhang, Tianle, 2018. "Intermediaries and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 255-277.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Two-sided markets Network externalities Intermediation Advertising;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • 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

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