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Is Google the next Microsoft? Competition, Welfare and Regulation in Internet Search

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  • Pollock, R.

Abstract

The rapid growth of online search and its centrality to the ecology of the Internet raise many questions for economists to answer: Why is the search engine market so concentrated and will it evolve towards monopoly? What implications does this concentration have for consumers, search engines, and advertisers? Does search require regulation and if so in what form? This paper supplies empirical and theoretical material with which to examine these questions. In particular, we (a) show that the already large levels of concentration are likely to continue (b) identify the consequences, negative and positive, of this outcome (c) discuss the regulatory interventions that policy-makers could use to address these.

Suggested Citation

  • Pollock, R., 2009. "Is Google the next Microsoft? Competition, Welfare and Regulation in Internet Search," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0921, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0921
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Susan Athey & Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Position Auctions with Consumer Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1213-1270.
    2. Gandal, Neil, 2001. "The dynamics of competition in the internet search engine market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1103-1117, July.
    3. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    4. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Two‐sided markets: a progress report," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 645-667, September.
    5. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    6. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2007. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second-Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 242-259, March.
    7. Yongmin Chen & Chuan He, 2011. "Paid Placement: Advertising and Search on the Internet," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 309-328, November.
    8. Volker Nocke & Martin Peitz & Konrad Stahl, 2007. "Platform Ownership," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1130-1160, December.
    9. Varian, Hal R., 2007. "Position auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1163-1178, December.
    10. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, March.
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    12. Pollock, Rufus, 2005. "The Control of Porting in Two-Sided Markets," MPRA Paper 5023, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2007.
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    14. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search and Cross-Selling in Electronic Markets," Working Papers 07-35, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Justus Haucap & Ulrich Heimeshoff, 2014. "Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay: Is the Internet driving competition or market monopolization?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 49-61, February.
    2. Justus Haucap & Torben Stühmeier, 2016. "Competition and antitrust in Internet markets," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of the Internet, chapter 9, pages 183-210 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Wiebke Roß & Jens Weghake, 2015. "10 Jahre YouTube: Von dem Aufstieg einer Plattform und der Entwicklung neuer Märkte zum Kollateralschaden einer Google-Regulierung?," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0014, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).
    4. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2017. "Ordnungspolitik in der digitalen Welt," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 90, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    5. Budzinski, Oliver, 2016. "Aktuelle Herausforderungen der Wettbewerbspolitik durch Marktplätze im Internet," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 103, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search Engine; Regulation; Competition; Antitrust; Technology;

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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