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The Dynamics of Competition in the Internet Search Engine Market

  • Neil Gandal

    (Tel Aviv University, UC-Berkeley, & CEPR)

Search engines hold the key to helping consumers access the wealth of information on the web. In this paper I examine the evolution of and competition in the internet search engine market. The goal of my analysis is to examine whether early entrants benefit in the long-run from their first-mover position in internet markets. I find that while early entrants (Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, and Altavista) still have an advantage, the pure "brand effect" advantage has been declining over time. Yahoo has maintained its leadership position by providing a superior product. The success of a wave of recent new entrants suggests that entry barriers are still quite low in the internet search engine market.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0012003.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 09 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0012003
Note: 20 pages, Acrobat .pdf
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  1. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-42, March.
  2. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  3. Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
  4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  5. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
  6. Geroski, Paul A & Machin, Stephen & Walters, Christopher F, 1997. "Corporate Growth and Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 171-89, June.
  7. Audretsch, David B. & Mata, Jose, 1995. "The post-entry performance of firms: Introduction," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 413-419, December.
  8. Prusa, Thomas J. & Schmitz, James Jr., 1991. "Are new firms an important source of innovation? : Evidence from the PC software industry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 339-342, March.
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