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Net Neutrality with Competing Internet Platforms

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Abstract

We propose a two-sided model with two competing Internet platforms, and a continuum of Content Providers (CPs). We study the effect of a net neutrality regulation on capacity investments in the market for Internet access, and on innovation in the market for content. Under the alternative discriminatory regime, platforms charge a priority fee to those CPs which are willing to deliver their content on a fast lane. We find that under discrimination investments in broadband capacity and content innovation are both higher than under net neutrality. Total welfare increases, though the discriminatory regime is not always beneficial to the platforms as it can intensify competition for subscribers. As platforms have a unilateral incentive to switch to the discriminatory regime, a prisoner's dilemma can arise. We also consider the possibility of sabotage, and show that it can only emerge, with adverse welfare effects, under discrimination.

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  • Marc Bourreau & Frago Kourandi & Tommaso Valletti, 2014. "Net Neutrality with Competing Internet Platforms," CEIS Research Paper 307, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Feb 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:307
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    1. Reggiani, Carlo & Valletti, Tommaso, 2016. "Net neutrality and innovation at the core and at the edge," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 16-27.
    2. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
    3. Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2013. "Price Discrimination in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 768-786, December.
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    5. Hsing Kenneth Cheng & Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay & Hong Guo, 2011. "The Debate on Net Neutrality: A Policy Perspective," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 60-82, March.
    6. Nicholas Economides & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2012. "The economics of network neutrality," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 602-629, December.
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    12. repec:oup:jcomle:v:6:y:2010:i:3:p:497-519. is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Net neutrality; Two-sided markets; Platform competition; Investment; Innovation.;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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