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Applications Barriers to Entry and Exclusive Vertical Contracts in Platform Markets

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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File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Prieger-Hu_07-46.pdf
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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 07-46.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0746
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

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  1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform competition in two sided markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24929, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Christiaan Hogendorn & Ka Yat Yuen, 2004. "Platform Competition with “Must-Have” Components," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2004-003, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  3. Sharon Oster, 1995. "Exclusive Licensing in a Sequence of Innovations," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 185-198.
  4. 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.
  5. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
  6. 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, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 23-58, 03.
  7. Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  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. 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.
  11. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  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. 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.
  15. Ravi Mantena & Ramesh Sankaranarayanan & Siva Viswanathan, 2007. "“Exclusive Licensing in Complementary Network Industries”," Working Papers 07-04, NET Institute, revised Apr 2007.
  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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