Game of Platforms: Strategic Expansion in Two-Sided Markets
Online platforms, such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon, are constantly expanding their activities, while increasing the overlap in their service offering. In this paper, we study the scope and overlap of online platforms' activities, when they are endogenously determined. We model an expansion game between two online platforms offering two different services to users for free, while selling user clicks to advertisers. At the outset, each platform offers one service, and users may subscribe to one platform or both (multihoming). In the second stage, each platform decides whether to expand by adding the service already offered by its rival. Platforms' expansion decisions affect users' mobility, and thus the partition of users in the market, which, in turn, affects platform prices and profits. We analyze the equilibrium of the expansion game, demonstrating that, in equilibrium, platforms may decide not to expand, even though expansion is costless. Such strategic "no expansion" decisions are due to quantity and price effects of changes in user mobility, brought on by expansion. Both symmetric expansion and symmetric no-expansion equilibria may arise, as well as asymmetric expansion equilibria, even for initially symmetric platforms.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gabszewicz, Jean J & Laussel, Didier & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2002. " Press Advertising and the Political Differentiation of Newspapers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 317-34.
- Hanna Halaburda & Yaron Yehezkel, 2011.
"Platform Competition under Asymmetric Information,"
11-05, NET Institute, revised Sep 2011.
- Kaiser, Ulrich & Wright, Julian, 2006.
"Price structure in two-sided markets: Evidence from the magazine industry,"
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
- Kaiser, Ulrich & Wright, Julian, 2004. "Price Structure in Two-sided Markets: Evidence from the Magazine Industry?," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-80, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Francisco Ruiz-Aliseda, 2008.
"Platform Competition, Compatibility, and Social Efficiency,"
08-32, NET Institute.
- Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon & Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco, 2009. "Platform competition, compatibility, and social efficiency," IESE Research Papers D/798, IESE Business School.
- Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Dider & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2001. "Press advertising and the ascent of the 'Pensee Unique'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 641-651, May.
- Stefan Behringer & Lapo Filistrucchi, 2009. "Price Wars in Two-Sided Markets: The case of the UK Quality Newspapers," Working Papers 09-26, NET Institute, revised Dec 2009.
- Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing cybermediaries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 797-808, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1312. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicholas Economides)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.