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Net Neutrality and Internet Fragmentation: The Role of Online Advertising

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  • Anna D'Annunzio
  • Antonio Russo

Abstract

We investigate the relation between Net Neutrality regulation and Internet fragmentation. We model a two-sided market, where Content Providers (CPs) and consumers interact through Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and CPs sell consumers’ attention to advertisers. Under Net Neutrality, a zero-price rule is enforced. By contrast, in the Unregulated Regime, ISPs make access to their subscribers for CPs conditional on payment of a termination fee. Multiple impressions of an ad on the same consumer are partially wasteful. Thus, equilibrium ad rates decrease when audiences overlap. We show that ISPs may strategically set termination fees to induce fragmentation. This takes place when advertising revenues are potentially large but strongly diminished by competition among CPs, and when consumers are not highly sensitive to content availability. We therefore identify an important link between termination fees, the online advertising market and Internet fragmentation. We extend the model to account for multi-homing consumers, vertically integrated ISPs, third-party advertising platforms and heterogeneous CPs.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna D'Annunzio & Antonio Russo, 2015. "Net Neutrality and Internet Fragmentation: The Role of Online Advertising," CESifo Working Paper Series 5467, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Bourreau & Romain Lestage, 2019. "Net neutrality and asymmetric platform competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 140-171, April.
    2. Robert F. Easley & Hong Guo & Jan Krämer, 2018. "Research Commentary—From Net Neutrality to Data Neutrality: A Techno-Economic Framework and Research Agenda," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 29(2), pages 253-272, June.
    3. Kim Soo Jin, 2020. "Direct Interconnection and Investment Incentives for Content Quality," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 169-204, September.
    4. Liu Xingyi, 2016. "Fear of Discrimination: Net Neutrality and Product Differentiation on the Internet," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 211-247, December.
    5. Reggiani, Carlo & Valletti, Tommaso, 2016. "Net neutrality and innovation at the core and at the edge," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 16-27.
    6. Broos, Sébastien & Gautier, Axel, 2017. "The exclusion of competing one-way essential complements: Implications for net neutrality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 358-392.
    7. Calzada, Joan & Tselekounis, Markos, 2018. "Net Neutrality in a hyperlinked Internet economy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 190-221.
    8. Barrie R. Nault & Steffen Zimmermann, 2019. "Balancing Openness and Prioritization in a Two-Tier Internet," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 745-763, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    net neutrality; two-sided markets; internet; advertising; fragmentation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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