Property Rights in Emerging Platform Technologies
34 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2000
Date Written: December 1999
This article considers an externality that affects a broad range of markets, specifically markets where one set of firms sells some platform technology like a computer, video game console, or operating system, while another possibly overlapping set of firms sells peripherals compatible with that platform, for example computer software or video game cartridges. The externality causes certain peripheral sellers to charge prices that are unprofitably high. That is, these firms could earn greater profits if only they could coordinate to charge lower prices. In many markets, such coordination is possible; firms can contract, for example, or integrate. In markets based on relatively new platform technologies, however, coordination will typically be difficult. The article explains why, and argues that intellectual property law can and should facilitate price coordination in these "emerging technology" settings.
JEL Classification: K11, L10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation