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Network Neutrality on the Internet: A Two-sided Market Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Economides, Nicholas

    (Stern School of Business)

  • Tåg, Joacim

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

We discuss the benefits of net neutrality regulation in the context of a two-sided market model in which platforms sell Internet access services to consumers and may set fees to content and applications providers "on the other side" of the Internet. When access is monopolized, we find that generally net neutrality regulation (that imposes zero fees "on the other side" of the market) increases total industry surplus compared to the fully private optimum at which the monopoly platform imposes positive fees on content and applications providers. Similarly, we find that imposing net neutrality in duopoly increases total surplus compared to duopoly competition between platforms that charge positive fees on content providers. We also discuss the incentives of duopolists to collude in setting the fees "on the other side" of the Internet while competing for Internet access customers. Additionally, we discuss how price and non-price discrimination strategies may be used once net neutrality is abolished. Finally, we discuss how the results generalize to other two-sided markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Economides, Nicholas & Tåg, Joacim, 2008. "Network Neutrality on the Internet: A Two-sided Market Analysis," Working Paper Series 727, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 09 Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0727
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Net Neutrality; Two-sided Markets; Internet; Monopoly; Duopoly; Regulation; Discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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