The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses
David S. Evans
University of Chicago Law School; University College London; Global Economics Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
January 30, 2013
Roger Blair and Daniel Sokol, eds., Oxford Handbook on International Antitrust Economics, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 623
This Chapter provides a survey of the economics literature on multi-sided platforms with particular focus on competition policy issues, including market definition, mergers, monopolization, and coordinated behavior. It provides a survey of the general industrial organization theory of multi-sided platforms and then considers various issues concerning the application of antitrust analysis to multi-sided platform businesses. It shows that it is not possible to know whether standard economic models, often relied on for antitrust analysis, apply to multi-sided platforms without explicitly considering the existence of multiple customer groups with interdependent demand. It summarizes many theoretical and empirical papers that demonstrate that a number of results for single-sided firms, which are the focus of much of the applied antitrust economics literature, do not apply directly to multi-sided platforms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 73
Keywords: multisided platforms, two sided markets, antitrust, competition policy, market definition, network industries, market definition, market power, exclusionary practices, monopolization, coordinated behavior, critical massAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 5, 2012 ; Last revised: February 4, 2013
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