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Competition, bargaining power and pricing in two-sided markets

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  • Wilko Bolt
  • Kimmo Soramäki

Abstract

We develop a model of two-sided markets that illustrates the role of bargaining power between the two sides of the market. We are interested in the profit maximizing usage fees set by identical duopolistic platforms which engage in homogeneous, Bertrand-type competition. We find that for a sufficiently low marginal cost duopolistic two-sided competition reduces to a grab-the-dollar game with two asymmetric (pure) Nash equilibria. These equilibria are characterized by highly skewed prices, in which the side with all the bargaining power pays a minimum price. The other side of the market is used for cross-subsidization and is charged a high price. Compared to the monopoly outcome, competition lowers the total price charged to both sides, although the seller's equilibrium price may exceed the monopoly price. Both platforms enjoy excess profits.Key Words: platform competition, bargaining power, asymmetric equilibria, skewed pricing

Suggested Citation

  • Wilko Bolt & Kimmo Soramäki, 2008. "Competition, bargaining power and pricing in two-sided markets," DNB Working Papers 181, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:181
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandrova-Kabadjova, Biliana & Negrín, José Luis, 2009. "What drives the network’s growth? An agent-based study of the payment card market," Working Paper Series 1143, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    platform competition; bargaining power; asymmetric equilibria; skewed pricing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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