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Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?

  • Andras Niedermayer

We consider a software vendor first selling a monopoly platform and then an application running on this platform. He may face competition by an entrant in the applications market. The platform monopolist can benefit from competition for three reasons. First, his profits from the platform increase. Second, competition serves as a credible commitment to lower prices for applications. Third, higher expected product diversity may lead to higher demand for his application. Results carry over to non-software platforms and, partially, to upstream and downstream firms. The model also explains why Microsoft Office is priced significantly higher than Microsoft's operating system.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0604.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0604
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  1. Volker Nocke & Martin Peitz & Konrad Stahl, 2007. "Platform Ownership," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1130-1160, December.
  2. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Viard, V. Brian & Economides, Nicholas, 2006. "Pricing of Complementary Goods and Network Effects," Research Papers 1812r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  6. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, 09.
  7. Joseph Farrell and Nancy T. Gallini., 1987. "Second-Sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," Economics Working Papers 8760, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2000. "Information Complements, Substitutes, and Strategic Product Design," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 299, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  9. Beggs, Alan W, 1994. "Mergers and Malls," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 419-28, December.
  10. Nicholas Economides & Brian Viard, 2004. "Pricing of Complementary Goods and Network Effects," Industrial Organization 0407005, EconWPA.
  11. Economides, Nicholas, 1996. "Network externalities, complementarities, and invitations to enter," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 211-233, September.
  12. Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2005. "Switching Costs, Firm Size, and Market Structure," Diskussionsschriften dp0515, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  13. David S. Evans & Andrei Hagiu & Richard Schmalensee, 2004. "A Survey of the Economic Role of Software Platforms in Computer-Based Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1314, CESifo Group Munich.
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