Integration and Search Engine Bias
Competition authorities all over the world worry that integration between search engines (mainly Google) and publishers could lead to abuses of dominant position.� In particular, one concern is that of own-content bias, meaning that Google would bias its rankings in favor of the publishers it owns or has an interest in, to the detriment of competitors and users.� In order to investigate this issue, we develop a theoretical framework in which the search engine (i) allocates users across publishers, and (ii) competes with publishers to attract advertisers.� We show that the search engine is biased against publishers that display many ads - even without integration.� Although integration may lead to own-content bias, it can also reduce bias by increasing the value of a marginal consumer to the search engine.� Integration also has a positive effect on users by reducing the nuisance costs due to excessive advertising.� Its net effect is therefore ambiguous in general, and we provide sufficient conditions for it to be desirable or not.
|Date of creation:||26 Mar 2013|
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