IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hbs/wpaper/09-061.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Platform Rules: Multi-Sided Platforms as Regulators

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin J. Boudreau

    (HEC – Paris School of Management)

  • Andrei Hagiu

    (Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit)

Abstract

This paper provides a basic conceptual framework for interpreting non-price instruments used by multi-sided platforms (MSPs) by analogizing MSPs as "private regulators" who regulate access to and interactions around the platform. We present evidence on Facebook, TopCoder, Roppongi Hills and Harvard Business School to document the "regulatory" role played by MSPs. We find MSPs use nuanced combinations of legal, technological, informational and other instruments (including price-setting) to implement desired outcomes. Non-price instruments were very much at the core of MSP strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin J. Boudreau & Andrei Hagiu, 2008. "Platform Rules: Multi-Sided Platforms as Regulators," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-061, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-061
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/09-061.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kevin M. Murphy & Steven J. Davis, 2000. "A Competitive Perspective on Internet Explorer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 184-187, May.
    2. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    3. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    4. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    5. Joseph Farrell & Michael L. Katz, 2000. "Innovation, Rent Extraction, and Integration in Systems Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 413-432, December.
    6. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1557-1700, Elsevier.
    7. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
    8. David S. Evans & Andrei Hagiu & Richard Schmalensee, 2008. "Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550687, December.
    9. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. "Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-328, Summer.
    10. Jacobides, Michael G. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn & Augier, Mie, 2006. "Benefiting from innovation: Value creation, value appropriation and the role of industry architectures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1200-1221, October.
    11. Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2005. "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1494-1504, October.
    12. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt5ps3f7p9, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    13. Farrell, Joseph, 1989. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8161p50b, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    14. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4dh7q2dd, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    15. Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A Study of the Market for Yellow Pages," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512.
    16. Hagiu Andrei, 2007. "Merchant or Two-Sided Platform?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-19, June.
    17. Harikesh Nair & Pradeep Chintagunta & Jean-Pierre Dubé, 2004. "Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Market for Personal Digital Assistants," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 23-58, March.
    18. 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.
    19. Annabelle Gawer & Rebecca Henderson, 2007. "Platform Owner Entry and Innovation in Complementary Markets: Evidence from Intel," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 1-34, March.
    20. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1967-2072, Elsevier.
    21. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
    22. Daniel F. Spulber, 2008. "Unlocking Technology: Antitrust And Innovation," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 915-966.
    23. Church Jeffrey & Gandal Neil & Krause David, 2008. "Indirect Network Effects and Adoption Externalities," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-22, September.
    24. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
    25. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
    26. Farrell, Joseph & Katz, Michael L, 2000. "Innovation, Rent Extraction, and Integration in Systems Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 413-432, December.
    27. Mark Armstrong Author-Email: mark.armstrong@ucl.ac.uk Author-Workplace-Name: University College of London, 2006. "Competition in Two-Sided Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, Autumn.
    28. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4dh7q2dd, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    29. Catherine Tucker, 2008. "Identifying Formal and Informal Influence in Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2024-2038, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kevin Boudreau, 2010. "Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1849-1872, October.
    2. Jullien, Bruno & Pavan, Alessandro & Rysman, Marc, 2021. "Two-sided Markets, Pricing, and Network Effects," TSE Working Papers 21-1238, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Elizabeth J. Altman & Mary Tripsas, 2013. "Product to Platform Transitions: Organizational Identity Implications," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-045, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2014.
    4. Ron Adner & Jianqing Chen & Feng Zhu, 2020. "Frenemies in Platform Markets: Heterogeneous Profit Foci as Drivers of Compatibility Decisions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(6), pages 2432-2451, June.
    5. Kevin J. Boudreau, 2012. "Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom? An Early Look at Large Numbers of Software App Developers and Patterns of Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(5), pages 1409-1427, October.
    6. Garcia-Swartz, Daniel D. & Garcia-Vicente, Florencia, 2015. "Network effects on the iPhone platform: An empirical examination," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 877-895.
    7. Jens Foerderer, 2020. "Interfirm Exchange and Innovation in Platform Ecosystems: Evidence from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(10), pages 4772-4787, October.
    8. Jørgen Veisdal, 2020. "The dynamics of entry for digital platforms in two-sided markets: a multi-case study," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 30(3), pages 539-556, September.
    9. Kevin Boudreau, 2005. "The Boundaries of the Platform: Vertical Integration and Economic Incentives in Mobile Computing," Working Papers hal-00597767, HAL.
    10. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2013. "The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses," NBER Working Papers 18783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jacobides, Michael G. & Cennamo, Carmelo & Gawer, Annabelle, 2024. "Externalities and complementarities in platforms and ecosystems: From structural solutions to endogenous failures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1).
    12. Claire M. Weiller & Michael G. Pollitt, 2013. "Platform markets and energy services," Working Papers EPRG 1334, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    13. Knittel Christopher R. & Stango Victor, 2008. "Incompatibility, Product Attributes and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from ATMs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42, January.
    14. Gawer, Annabelle, 2014. "Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1239-1249.
    15. S. Sriram & Puneet Manchanda & Mercedes Bravo & Junhong Chu & Liye Ma & Minjae Song & Scott Shriver & Upender Subramanian, 2015. "Platforms: a multiplicity of research opportunities," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 141-152, June.
    16. Campbell-Kelly, Martin & Garcia-Swartz, Daniel D., 2009. "Pragmatism, not ideology: Historical perspectives on IBM's adoption of open-source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 229-244, August.
    17. de Bijl, P.W.J. & Peitz, M., 2007. "Innovation, Convergence and the Role of Regulation in the Netherlands," Other publications TiSEM 21cc8b22-82a4-48da-87d0-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. de Bijl, Paul & Peitz, Martin, 2008. "Innovation, convergence and the role of regulation in the Netherlands and beyond," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 744-754, December.
    19. Xing Wan & Javier Cenamor & Geoffrey Parker & Marshall Van Alstyne, 2017. "Unraveling Platform Strategies: A Review from an Organizational Ambidexterity Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 9(5), pages 1-18, May.
    20. Jabbour, Chady & Rey-Valette, Hélène & Maurel, Pierre & Salles, Jean-Michel, 2019. "Spatial data infrastructure management: A two-sided market approach for strategic reflections," International Journal of Information Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 69-82.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Platforms; regulation; network effects; distributed innovation;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:hbs:wpaper:09-061. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: HBS (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/harbsus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.