IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Market Definition and Market Power in Payment Card Networks


  • Erich Emch

    (Economic Analysis Group, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice)

  • T. Scott Thompson

    (Bates White, LLC)


We discuss competition among payment card networks, and in particular how antitrust practitioners might approach questions or market definition and market power in these markets. Application of the hypothetical monopolist test to define markets, and the use of traditional metrics to measure market power, may be less straightforward for card networks than for many markets. The interrelationships between network pricing to merchants, to bank issuers of payment cards and indirectly, to final consumers, complicates the analysis. The "two-sidedness" of the market does not, however, overturn the basic logic of the hypothetical monopolist test or traditional measurements of market power. We demonstrate some practical ways to apply these antitrust principles to competition among payment card networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Erich Emch & T. Scott Thompson, 2006. "Market Definition and Market Power in Payment Card Networks," EAG Discussions Papers 200609, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:doj:eagpap:200609

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Filistrucchi, L. & Geradin, D.A.A.G. & van Damme, E.E.C., 2012. "Identifying Two-Sided Markets," Discussion Paper 2012-008, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Tosza, Katarzyna, 2009. "Payment Card Systems as an Example of two-sided Markets - a Challenge for Antitrust Authorities," MPRA Paper 23822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dittmann, Heidi & Kuchinke, Björn A., 2016. "Sharing Economy and Regulation," 27th European Regional ITS Conference, Cambridge (UK) 2016 148665, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. Jean-Charles Rochet, 2007. "Some economics of horizontal integration in the payments industry," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:doj:eagpap:200609. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tung Vu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.