IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oxf/wpaper/651.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Integration and Search Engine Bias

Author

Listed:
  • Alexandre de Cornière
  • Greg Taylor

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandre de Cornière & Greg Taylor, 2013. "Integration and Search Engine Bias," Economics Series Working Papers 651, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:651
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/12663/paper651.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Susan Athey & Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Position Auctions with Consumer Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1213-1270.
    2. Jay Pil Choi & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2010. "Net neutrality and investment incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, pages 446-471.
    3. Attila Ambrus & Emilio Calvano & Markus Reisinger, 2016. "Either or Both Competition: A "Two-Sided" Theory of Advertising with Overlapping Viewerships," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 189-222, August.
    4. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
    5. White, Alexander, 2013. "Search engines: Left side quality versus right side profits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 690-701.
    6. Varian, Hal R., 2007. "Position auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1163-1178, December.
    7. Andrei Hagiu & Bruno Jullien, 2011. "Why do intermediaries divert search?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(2), pages 337-362, June.
    8. Matthew Ellman & Fabrizio Germano, 2009. "What do the Papers Sell? A Model of Advertising and Media Bias," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 680-704, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Larbi Alaoui & Fabrizio Germano, 2012. "Time scarcity and the market for news," Economics Working Papers 1348, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2014.
    2. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon & Ellman, Matthew, 2015. "In Google we trust?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 44-55.
    3. D'Annunzio, Anna & Russo, Antonio, 2015. "Net Neutrality and internet fragmentation: The role of online advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 30-47.
    4. Walter Beckert & Kate Collyer, 2016. "Choice in the presence of experts: the role of general practitioners in patients' hospital choice," IFS Working Papers W16/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. repec:bpj:rneart:v:15:y:2017:i:1:p:1-34:n:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. de Cornière, Alexandre & Taylor, Greg, 2016. "A Model of Biased Intermediation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Fabrizio Germano & Francesco Sobbrio, 2016. "Opinion dynamics via search engines (and other algorithmic gatekeepers)," Economics Working Papers 1552, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2017.
    8. Mueller-Frank, Manuel & M. Pai, Mallesh, 2015. "Do Online Social Networks Increase Welfare?," IESE Research Papers D/1118, IESE Business School.
    9. Liran Einav & Chiara Farronato & Jonathan Levin, 2015. "Peer-to-Peer Markets," NBER Working Papers 21496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alexandre de Cornière, 2016. "Search Advertising," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 156-188, August.
    11. Anna D'Annunzio & Antonio Russo, 2017. "Ad Networks, Consumer Tracking, and Privacy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6667, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Alexandre de Cornière & Greg Taylor, 2014. "Quality Provision in the Presence of a Biased Intermediary," Working Papers 14-06, NET Institute.
    13. Chen, Yongmin & Zhang, Tianle, 2016. "Intermediaries and Consumer Search," MPRA Paper 76051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Susan Athey & Emilio Calvano & Joshua Gans, 2013. "The Impact of the Internet on Advertising Markets for News Media," NBER Working Papers 19419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Susan Athey & Emilio Calvano & Joshua S. Gans, 2014. "The Impact of Consumer Multi-homing on Advertising Markets and Media Competition," CSEF Working Papers 379, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 27 Apr 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search engine; integration; advertising;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    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:oxf:wpaper:651. 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: (Anne Pouliquen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfeixuk.html .

    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.