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Common Agency and Coordinated Bids in Sponsored Search Auctions


  • Maris Goldmanis

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Antonio Penta

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

  • Francesco Decarolis

    (University of Wisconsin Madison)


As auctions are becoming the main mechanism for selling advertisement space on the web, marketing agencies specialized in bidding in online auctions are proliferating. We analyze theoretically how bidding delegation to a common marketing agency can undermine both revenues and efficiency of the generalized second price auction, the format used by Google and Microsoft-Yahoo!. Our characterization allows us to quantify the revenue losses relative to both the case of full competition and the case of agency bidding under an alternative auction format (specifically, the VCG mechanism). We propose a simple algorithm that a search engine can use to reduce efficiency and revenue losses.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Maris Goldmanis & Antonio Penta & Francesco Decarolis, 2012. "Common Agency and Coordinated Bids in Sponsored Search Auctions," 2012 Meeting Papers 106, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francesco Decarolis, 2009. "When the highest bidder loses the auction: theory and evidence from public procurement," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 717, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Rieko Ishii, 2007. "Collusion in Repeated Procurement Auction: a Study of Paving Market in Japan," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 07-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    3. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1, March.
    4. Francesco Decarolis, 2012. "Pricing and Incentives in Publicly Subsidized Health Care Markets: the Case of Medicare Part D," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Krasnokutskaya, 2016. "Trading across Borders in Online Auctions," 2016 Meeting Papers 1537, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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