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Competition in Two-Sided Markets

  • Mark Armstrong

    (University College London)

There are many examples of markets involving two groups of agents who need to interact via 'platforms', and where one group's benefit from joining a platform depends on the number of agents from the other group who join the same platform. This paper presents theoretical models for three variants of such markets: a monopoly platform; a model of competing platforms where each agent must choose to join a single platform; and a model of 'competing bottlenecks', where one group wishes to join all platforms. The main determinants of equilibrium prices are (i) the relative sizes of the cross-group externalities, (ii) whether fees are levied on a lump-sum or per-transaction basis, and (iii) whether a group joins just one platform or joins all platforms.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0505009.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 25 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0505009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 32
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  1. Mark Armstrong & Julian Wright, 2007. "Two-sided Markets, Competitive Bottlenecks and Exclusive Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 353-380, August.
  2. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
  4. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  5. van Raalte, Chris & Webers, Harry, 1998. "Spatial competition with intermediated matching," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 477-488, March.
  6. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform Competition in Two Sided Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp409, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
  8. Howard Smith & Donald Hay, 2005. "Streets, Malls, and Supermarkets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 29-59, 03.
  9. Beggs, Alan W, 1994. "Mergers and Malls," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 419-28, December.
  10. Konrad Stahl, 1982. "Location and Spatial Pricing Theory with Nonconvex Transportation Cost Schedules," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 575-582, Autumn.
  11. Armstrong, Mark, 2001. "The theory of access pricing and interconnection," MPRA Paper 15608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Dider & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2001. "Press advertising and the ascent of the 'Pensee Unique'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 641-651, May.
  13. Wright, Julian, 2002. "Access Pricing under Competition: An Application to Cellular Networks," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 289-315, September.
  14. Anthony Dukes & Esther Gal–Or, 2003. "Negotiations and Exclusivity Contracts for Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 222-245, November.
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