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Competition, bargaining power and pricing in two-sided markets

Author

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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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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/binaries/WP%20181-2008%20-%20Competition,%20bargaining%20power%20and%20pricing%20in%20two-sided%20markets_tcm46-188337.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaiser, Ulrich & Wright, Julian, 2006. "Price structure in two-sided markets: Evidence from the magazine industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
    2. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
    3. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    4. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    5. Chakravorti Sujit & Roson Roberto, 2006. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets: The Case of Payment Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
    6. Laraki, Rida & Solan, Eilon & Vieille, Nicolas, 2005. "Continuous-time games of timing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 206-238, February.
    7. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    8. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael L. Katz, 2006. "Your network or mine? The economics of routing rules," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 692-719, September.
    9. Schwartz Marius & Vincent Daniel R., 2006. "The No Surcharge Rule and Card User Rebates: Vertical Control by a Payment Network," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, March.
    10. Weiner Stuart E. & Wright Julian, 2005. "Interchange Fees in Various Countries: Developments and Determinants," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-34, December.
    11. Bolt, Wilko & Tieman, Alexander F., 2008. "Heavily skewed pricing in two-sided markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1250-1255, September.
    12. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mark Armstrong & Julian Wright, 2007. "Two-sided Markets, Competitive Bottlenecks and Exclusive Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(2), pages 353-380, August.
    14. Evans David S., 2003. "Some Empirical Aspects of Multi-sided Platform Industries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-19, September.
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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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    platform competition; bargaining power; asymmetric equilibria; skewed pricing;

    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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