IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/net/wpaper/2010.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Limits of Marketplace Fee Discrimination

Author

Listed:
  • Mark J. Tremblay

    () (Miami University, Farmer School of Business, Department of Economics, 800 E. High St., Oxford, OH 45056)

Abstract

Platforms often use fee discrimination within their marketplace (e.g., Amazon, eBay, and Airbnb specify a variety of merchant fees). To better understand the impact of marketplace fee discrimination, we develop a model that allows us to determine platform equilibrium fee, category, and retail entry decisions that depend on the extent of fee discrimination available to the platform. Isolating the effects of fee discrimination (by not allowing the platform to enter into commerce), we find that greater fee discrimination allows the platform to serve more markets in its marketplace but also worsens double marginalization in the high surplus markets. However, if the platform enters into retail, then the platform reduces its fees and generates greater retail competition. These effects mitigate distortions from fee discrimination and improve welfare. In terms of policy, we show that (1) banning fee discrimination and platform entry is detrimental to welfare, (2) a vertical merger within a retail market mitigates double marginalization but is often worse than an equilibrium with platform entry into retail, and (3) taxing the platform in retail (not merchants) levels the retail playing field and can generate a Pareto improvement upon a policy that bans platform retail entry.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark J. Tremblay, 2020. "The Limits of Marketplace Fee Discrimination," Working Papers 20-10, NET Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:2010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Tremblay_20-10.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zhu Wang & Julian Wright, 2018. "Should platforms be allowed to charge ad valorem fees?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 739-760, September.
    2. Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2015. "The Limits of Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 921-957, March.
    3. Chengsi Wang & Julian Wright, 2020. "Search platforms: showrooming and price parity clauses," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(1), pages 32-58, March.
    4. Zhu Wang & Julian Wright, 2017. "Ad valorem platform fees, indirect taxes, and efficient price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(2), pages 467-484, May.
    5. Feng Zhu & Qihong Liu, 2018. "Competing with complementors: An empirical look at Amazon.com," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(10), pages 2618-2642, October.
    6. BjØrn Olav Johansen & Thibaud Vergé, 2017. "Platform Price Parity Clauses with Direct Sales," Working Papers 2017-45, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    7. Yoshihiro Yoshida, 2000. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Output and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 240-246, March.
    8. Johnson, Justin Pappas & Rhodes, Andrew & Wildenbeest, Matthij, 2020. "Platform Design when Sellers Use Pricing Algorithms," TSE Working Papers 20-1146, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    9. Andrei Hagiu & Julian Wright, 2015. "Marketplace or Reseller?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(1), pages 184-203, January.
    10. Justin P. Johnson, 2017. "The Agency Model and MFN Clauses," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 1151-1185.
    11. Federico Etro, 2020. "Product Selection in Online Marketplaces," Working Papers - Economics wp2020_20.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    12. Benjamin Edelman & Julian Wright, 2015. "Price Coherence and Excessive Intermediation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1283-1328.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Maruyama, Masayoshi & Zennyo, Yusuke, 2020. "Platform most-favored-customer clauses and investment incentives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    2. Johnson, Justin P., 2020. "The agency and wholesale models in electronic content markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    3. Andrea Mantovani & Claudio Piga & Carlo Reggiani, 2019. "Much ado about nothing? Online platform price parity clauses and the EU Booking.com case," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1909, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    4. Mantovani, Andrea & Piga, Claudio A. & Reggiani, Carlo, 2021. "Online platform price parity clauses: Evidence from the EU Booking.com case," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    5. Hunold, Matthias & Kesler, Reinhold & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Schlütter, Frank, 2018. "Evaluation of best price clauses in online hotel bookings," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 542-571.
    6. Michele Bisceglia & Jorge Padilla & Salvatore Piccolo, 2019. "When Prohibiting Platform Parity Agreements Harms Consumers," CSEF Working Papers 542, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    7. Carlotta Mariotto & Marianne Verdier, 2020. "Platform–merchant competition for sales services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 834-853, October.
    8. Ennis, Sean & Ivaldi, Marc & Lagos, Vicente, 2020. "Price Parity Clauses for Hotel Room Booking: Empirical Evidence from Regulatory Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 14771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Andrea Mantovani & Claudio Piga & Carlo Reggiani, 2017. "The dynamics of online hotel prices and the EU Booking.com case," Working Papers 17-04, NET Institute.
    10. Cazaubiel, Arthur & Cure, Morgane & Johansen, Bjørn Olav & Vergé, Thibaud, 2020. "Substitution between online distribution channels: Evidence from the Oslo hotel market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    11. Matthias Hunold & Reinhold Kesler & Ulrich Laitenberger, 2020. "Rankings of Online Travel Agents, Channel Pricing, and Consumer Protection," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 92-116, January.
    12. Charlson, G., 2021. "Rating the Competition: Seller Ratings and Intra-Platform Competition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2106, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Ronayne, David, 2015. "Price Comparison Websites," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1056, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    14. Elliott, M. & Galeotti., A. & Koh., A., 2021. "Market Segmentation Through Information," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2105, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Loertscher, Simon & Niedermayer, Andras, 2020. "Entry-deterring agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 172-188.
    16. Andrei Hagiu & Bruno Jullien & Julian Wright, 2020. "Creating Platforms by Hosting Rivals," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(7), pages 3234-3248, July.
    17. Paul Belleflamme & Martin Peitz, 2019. "Managing competition on a two‐sided platform," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 5-22, January.
    18. Oksana Loginova & Andrea Mantovani, 2019. "Price competition in the presence of a web aggregator," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 43-73, January.
    19. Felipe Avilés-Lucero & Andre Boik, 2018. "Wholesale most-favored-nation clauses and price discrimination with negative consumption externalities: equivalence results," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 266-291, December.
    20. Shen, Bo & Wright, Julian, 2019. "Why (don’t) firms free ride on an intermediary’s advice?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 27-54.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Platforms; platform retail entry; price discrimination; vertical integration; intermediary;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:2010. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.NETinst.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.