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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1652133
 
 

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Monopolization via Voluntary Network Effects


Adi Ayal


Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

August 2, 2010

Antitrust Law Journal, Vol. 76, No. 3, 2010

Abstract:     
Network effects are commonly seen as an exogenous product characteristic, relevant to some products but not others. This paper explores an existing, but often-ignored issue, that network effects are sometimes voluntarily created by the firm, and need not exist otherwise. When a firm strategically creates network effects, the result could be a shift in market structure, leading to a tipping monopoly-prone market, rather than a more competitive one.

The paper explains two main methods of VNE creation, and assesses their characterization as willful acquisition or maintenance of monopoly power - a Section 2 Sherman Act offense. Guiding examples include differential pricing for in-net vs. off-net calls in the cellular market, and technological innovation of add-on components in video games. Other applications and future extensions are discussed. Discussion of policy implications concludes, including the difficulties and dangers of excessive regulation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: network effects, antitrust, cellular, monopolization

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Date posted: August 2, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Ayal, Adi, Monopolization via Voluntary Network Effects (August 2, 2010). Antitrust Law Journal, Vol. 76, No. 3, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1652133

Contact Information

Adi Ayal (Contact Author)
Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel
HOME PAGE: http://adiayal.blogspot.com
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