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Zero-Rating and Vertical Content Foreclosure

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  • Jeitschko, Thomas D.
  • Kim, Soo Jin
  • Yankelevich, Aleksandr

Abstract

We study zero-rating, a practice whereby an Internet service provider (ISP) that limits data consumption exempts certain content from that limit. This practice is particularly controversial when an ISP zero-rates its own vertically integrated content, because the data limit and ensuing overage charges impose an additional cost on rival content. We find that zero-rating and vertical integration are complementary in improving social welfare, though potentially at the expense of lower profit to an unaffiliated content provider. Moreover, allowing content providers to pay for zero-rating via a sponsored data plan raises welfare by inducing the ISP to zero-rate more content.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Kim, Soo Jin & Yankelevich, Aleksandr, 2021. "Zero-Rating and Vertical Content Foreclosure," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:55:y:2021:i:c:s0167624520301438
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2020.100899
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    Cited by:

    1. Krämer, Jan & Peitz, Martin, 2018. "A fresh look at zero-rating," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 501-513.
    2. Emmanuel LORENZON, 2020. "Zero Rating, Content Quality and Network Capacity," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-21, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    3. Saruta, Fuyuki, 2020. "Effects of Content Providers' Heterogeneity on Internet Service Providers' Zero-rating Choice," MPRA Paper 107505, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2021.
    4. Gautier, Axel & Somogyi, Robert, 2020. "Prioritization vs zero-rating: Discrimination on the internet," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Data Caps; Sponsored Data; Two-Sided Market; Vertical Content Foreclosure; Zero-Rating; Net Neutrality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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