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Segmentation versus Agglomeration: Competition between Platforms with Competitive Sellers

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  • Karle, Heiko
  • Peitz, Martin
  • Reisinger, Markus

Abstract

For many products, platforms enable sellers to transact with buyers. We show that the competitive conditions among sellers shape the market structure in platform industries. If product market competition is tough, sellers avoid competitors by joining different platforms. This allows platforms to sustain high fees and explains why, for example, in some online markets, several homogeneous platforms segment the market. Instead, if product market competition is soft, agglomeration on a single platform emerges, and platforms fight for the dominant position. These insights give rise to novel predictions. For instance, market concentration and fees are negatively correlated in platform industries, which inverts the standard logic of competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin & Reisinger, Markus, 2017. "Segmentation versus Agglomeration: Competition between Platforms with Competitive Sellers," CEPR Discussion Papers 12435, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12435
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    Cited by:

    1. Jullien, Bruno & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2020. "The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 15071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    3. Anderson, Simon P. & Peitz, Martin, 2020. "Media see-saws: Winners and losers in platform markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    4. Paul Belleflamme & Martin Peitz, 2019. "Managing competition on a two‐sided platform," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 5-22, January.
    5. Foucart, Renaud, 2020. "Metasearch and market concentration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    6. Janssen, Maarten & Shelegia, Sandro, 2017. "Beliefs and Consumer Search in a Vertical Industry," MPRA Paper 85134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Jullien, Bruno & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2021. "The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    8. Stefano Castriota & Alessandro Fedele, 2021. "Does Excellence Pay Off? Theory and Evidence from the Wine Market," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS77, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    9. Hildebrandt, Christian & Arnold, René, 2018. "Marktbeobachtung in der digitalen Wirtschaft – Ein Modell zur Analyse von Online-Plattformen," WIK Discussion Papers 427, WIK Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste GmbH.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    endogenous segmentation; intermediation; market structure; price competition; Two-sided markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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