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The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy

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  • Bruno Jullien
  • Wilfried Sand-Zantman

Abstract

We propose an analysis of platform competition based on the academic literature with a view towards competition policy. First, we discuss to which extent competition can emerge in digital markets and show which forms it can take. In particular, we underline the role of dynamics, but also of platform differentiation, consumers multi-homing and beliefs to allow competition in platform markets. Second, we analyse competition policy issues and discuss how rules designed for standard markets can perform in two-sided markets. We show that multi-sided externalities create new opportunities for anti-competitive conducts, often related to pricing and contractual imperfections.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Jullien & Wilfried Sand-Zantman, 2020. "The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 8463, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8463
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    Keywords

    networks; platforms; markets; competition policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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