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

  • Economides, Nicholas


    (Stern School of Business)

  • Tåg, Joacim


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

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.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 727.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2008
Date of revision: 09 Nov 2011
Publication status: Published as Economides, Nicholas and Joacim Tåg, 'Network Neutrality on the Internet: A Two-sided Market Analysis' in Information Economics and Policy, 2012, pages 91-104.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0727
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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  1. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2005. "Linux vs. Windows: A comparison of application and platform innovation incentives for open source and proprietary software platforms+," Working Papers 05-03, NET Institute, revised Sep 2005.
  2. Choi, Jay & Kim, Byung-Cheol, 2008. "Net Neutrality and Investment Incentives," Working Paper Series 4010, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
  3. Lawrence J. White, 2007. "Reducing Barriers to Services Trade: The U.S. Case," Working Papers 07-8, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "A Price Theory of Multi-sided Platforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1642-72, September.
  5. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2004. "Two-sided competition of proprietary vs. open source technology platforms and the implications for the software industry," Working Papers 04-30, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, 06.
  7. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Volker Nocke & Martin Peitz & Konrad Stahl, 2004. "Platform Ownership," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Two-Sided Markets : A Progress Report," IDEI Working Papers 275, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. Christiaan Hogendorn, 2007. "Broadband Internet: net neutrality versus open access," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-208, August.
  11. Keith M. Chen & Barry Nalebuff, 2006. "One-Way Essential Complements," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000669, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Goolsbee Austan, 2006. "The Value of Broadband and the Deadweight Loss of Taxing New Technology," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, April.
  13. Amelio, Andrea & Jullien, Bruno, 2012. "Tying and freebies in two-sided markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 436-446.
  14. Musacchio John & Schwartz Galina & Walrand Jean, 2009. "A Two-Sided Market Analysis of Provider Investment Incentives with an Application to the Net-Neutrality Issue," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-18, March.
  15. Andrei Hagiu, 2009. "Two-Sided Platforms: Product Variety and Pricing Structures," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 1011-1043, December.
  16. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 2006. "The Economics of Product-Line Restrictions With an Application to the Network Neutrality Debate," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt81r3b7xs, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  17. Yongmin Chen & Scott J Savage, 2011. "The Effects of Competition on the Price for Cable Modem Internet Access," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 201-217, February.
  18. Nicholas Economides, 2007. "Nonbanks in the Payments System: Vertical Integration Issues," Working Papers 07-06, NET Institute.
  19. Krämer, Jan & Wiewiorra, Lukas, 2009. "Innovation through Discrimination!? A Formal Analysis of the Net Neutrality Debate," MPRA Paper 16655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-28, Summer.
  21. Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2003. "An Economic Analysis of the Determination of Interchange Fees in Payment Card Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-11, June.
  22. Nicholas Economides & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2012. "The economics of network neutrality," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 602-629, December.
  23. Nicholas Economides, 2007. "Economics of the Internet," Working Papers 07-1, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  24. Chen, M. Keith & Nalebuff, Barry, 2006. "One-Way Essential Complements," Working Papers 22, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  25. Jay Pil Choi, 2007. "Tying in Two-Sided Markets with Multi-Homing," CESifo Working Paper Series 2073, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. Wright Julian, 2004. "One-sided Logic in Two-sided Markets," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, March.
  27. Jan Kraemer & Lukas Wiewiorra, 2010. "Network Neutrality and Congestion Sensitive Content Providers: Implications for Service Innovation, Broadband Investment and Regulation," Working Papers 10-09, NET Institute, revised Sep 2010.
  28. Schuett Florian, 2010. "Network Neutrality: A Survey of the Economic Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-15, June.
  29. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. repec:reg:rpubli:428 is not listed on IDEAS
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