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Applications Barriers to Entry and Exclusive Vertical Contracts in Platform Markets

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Abstract

Our study extends the empirical literature on whether vertical restraints are anticompetitive. We focus on exclusive contracting in platform markets, which feature indirect network effects and thus are susceptible to applications barriers to entry. Theory suggests that exclusive contracts in vertical relationships between the platform provider and software supplier can heighten the entry barriers. We test these theories in the home video game market. We measure the impact on hardware demand of the indirect network effects from software. We find that although network effects are present, the marginal exclusive game contributes virtually nothing to console demand. Thus, allowing exclusive vertical contracts in platform markets need not lead to a market structure dominated by one system protected by a hedge of complementary software. Our investigation suggests that bargaining power enjoyed by the best software providers and the skewed distribution of game revenue prevents the foreclosure of rivals through exclusive contracting.

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  • James E. Prieger & Wei-Min Hu, 2007. "Applications Barriers to Entry and Exclusive Vertical Contracts in Platform Markets," Working Papers 07-46, NET Institute, revised Nov 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0746
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    1. Christiaan Hogendorn & Stephen Ka Yat Yuen, 2009. "PLATFORM COMPETITION WITH 'MUST-HAVE' COMPONENTS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 294-318, June.
    2. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
    3. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
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    5. Heide, Jan B & Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing and Business Efficiency: Evidence from Industry Practice," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 387-407, October.
    6. Robin S. Lee, 2013. "Vertical Integration and Exclusivity in Platform and Two-Sided Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2960-3000, December.
    7. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    8. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
    9. Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2004. "Indirect Network Effects and the Product Cycle: Video Games in the U.S., 1994-2002," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-261, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    10. Cooper, James C. & Froeb, Luke M. & O'Brien, Dan & Vita, Michael G., 2005. "Vertical antitrust policy as a problem of inference," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 639-664, September.
    11. 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.
    12. John Shea, 1997. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 348-352, May.
    13. Jennifer Johns, 2006. "Video games production networks: value capture, power relations and embeddedness," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 151-180, April.
    14. Ravi Mantena & Ramesh Sankaranarayanan & Siva Viswanathan, 2007. "“Exclusive Licensing in Complementary Network Industries”," Working Papers 07-04, NET Institute, revised Apr 2007.
    15. James E. Prieger & Wei-Min Hu, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Home Video Game Market," Working Papers 06-25, NET Institute, revised Oct 2006.
    16. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maruyama, Masayoshi & Flath, David & Minamikawa, Kazumitsu & Ohkita, Kenichi & Zennyo, Yusuke, 2015. "Platform selection by software developers: Theory and evidence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 282-303.
    2. Kim, Jin-Hyuk & Prince, Jeffrey & Qiu, Calvin, 2014. "Indirect network effects and the quality dimension: A look at the gaming industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 99-108.
    3. Timothy Derdenger, 2014. "Technological tying and the intensity of price competition: An empirical analysis of the video game industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 127-165, June.
    4. Peters, Frank, 2018. "The business of video games is a multi-player game : Essays on governance choices and performance in a two-sided market in the cultural industries," Other publications TiSEM 886b3148-4bbb-4ea4-b666-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Searing Elizabeth A. M., 2014. "Charitable (Anti)Trust: The Role of Antitrust Regulation in the Nonprofit Sector," Nonprofit Policy Forum, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-28, October.
    6. repec:kap:regeco:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9325-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust; vertical restrictions; exclusive contracts; platform markets; home video game industry; software and hardware markets; two-sided markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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