IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Platform competition and seller investment incentives

  • Belleflamme, Paul
  • Peitz, Martin

Many products and services are not sold on open platforms but on competing for-profit platforms, which charge buyers and sellers for access. What is the effect of for-profit intermediation on seller investment incentives? Since for-profit intermediaries reduce the available rents in the market, one might naively suspect that sellers have weaker investment incentives with competing for-profit platforms. However, we show that for-profit intermediation may lead to overinvestment when free access would lead to underinvestment because investment decisions affect the strength of indirect network effects and, thus, access prices. We characterize the effect of for-profit intermediation on investment incentives depending on the nature of the investment and on which side of the market singlehomes.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 1059-1076

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:8:p:1059-1076
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
  2. John Rust & George Hall, 2001. "Middle Men Versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1299, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform competition in two sided markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24929, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin & Stahl, Konrad, 2004. "Platform Ownership," CEPR Discussion Papers 4657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kaiser, Ulrich & Wright, Julian, 2006. "Price structure in two-sided markets: Evidence from the magazine industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
  6. Hagiu Andrei, 2007. "Merchant or Two-Sided Platform?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-19, June.
  7. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Mark Armstrong & Julian Wright, 2007. "Two-sided Markets, Competitive Bottlenecks and Exclusive Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 353-380, August.
  9. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1999. "Market structure and incentives to innovate: the case of Cournot oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 379-388, December.
  10. Bester, H. & Petrakis, E., 1991. "The Incentives for Cost Reduction in a Differentiated Industry," Papers 9136, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  11. Gehrig, Thomas, 1998. "Competing markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 277-310, February.
  12. Thomas Gehrig, 1993. "Intermediation in Search Markets," Discussion Papers 1058, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Daniel F. Spulber, 2002. "Market Microstructure and Incentives to Invest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 352-381, April.
  14. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The Industrial Organization of Markets with Two-Sided Platforms," NBER Working Papers 11603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bonanno, Giacomo & Haworth, Barry, 1998. "Intensity of competition and the choice between product and process innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 495-510, July.
  16. Andrei Hagiu, 2009. "Two-Sided Platforms: Product Variety and Pricing Structures," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 1011-1043, December.
  17. Evans David S., 2003. "Some Empirical Aspects of Multi-sided Platform Industries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-19, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:8:p:1059-1076. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.