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Product Life Cycle Theory and the Maturation of the Internet


Christopher S. Yoo


University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science

November 11, 2009

Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2010
U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-41
U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 09-35
2010 TPRC Conference

Abstract:     
Much of the recent debate over Internet policy has focused on the permissibility of business practices that are becoming increasingly common, such as new forms of network management, prioritization, pricing, and strategic partnerships. This Essay analyzes these developments through the lens of the management literature on the product life cycle, dominant designs, technological trajectories and design hierarchies, and the role of complementary assets in determining industry structure. This analysis suggests that many of these business practices may represent nothing more than a reflection of how the nature of competition changes as industries mature. This in turn suggests that network neutrality and other proposals to restrict such practices run the risk of diverting the industry from its natural evolutionary path.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Dominant design, technological trajectories, design hierarchies, technological paradigms, Thomas Kuhn, modularity, transaction costs, complementary assets, divided technical leadership, network neutrality, network management, prioritization, strategic partnerships

JEL Classification: D29, K23, L82, L86, L96, L98, O32

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Date posted: December 2, 2009 ; Last revised: December 23, 2013

Suggested Citation

Yoo, Christopher S., Product Life Cycle Theory and the Maturation of the Internet (November 11, 2009). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-41; Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2010; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-41; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 09-35; 2010 TPRC Conference. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1511853

Contact Information

Christopher S. Yoo (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/faculty/csyoo/
University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )
3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6220
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)
University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science ( email )
3330 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6309
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)
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