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The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses

Listed author(s):
  • David S. Evans
  • Richard Schmalensee

This Chapter provides a survey of the economics literature on multi-sided platforms with particular focus on competition policy issues, including market definition, mergers, monopolization, and coordinated behavior. It provides a survey of the general industrial organization theory of multi-sided platforms and then considers various issues concerning the application of antitrust analysis to multi-sided platform businesses. It shows that it is not possible to know whether standard economic models, often relied on for antitrust analysis, apply to multi-sided platforms without explicitly considering the existence of multiple customer groups with interdependent demand. It summarizes many theoretical and empirical papers that demonstrate that a number of results for single-sided firms, which are the focus of much of the applied antitrust economics literature, do not apply directly to multi-sided platforms.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18783.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18783.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18783
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  8. Galeotti, Andrea & Moraga-González, José Luis, 2009. "Platform intermediation in a market for differentiated products," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 417-428, May.
  9. Schmalensee Richard, 2011. "Why is Platform Pricing Generally Highly Skewed?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-13, December.
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  18. Whinston, Michael D, 1990. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 837-859, September.
  19. Lapo Filistrucchi & Tobias J. Klein & Thomas Michielsen, 2011. "Assessing Unilateral Merger Effects in a Two-Sided Market: An Application to the Dutch Daily Newspaper Market," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_15.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  20. Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A Study of the Market for Yellow Pages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512.
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