The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses
Roger Blair and Daniel Sokol, eds., Oxford Handbook on International Antitrust Economics, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
73 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2012 Last revised: 4 Feb 2013
Date Written: January 30, 2013
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.
Keywords: multisided platforms, two sided markets, antitrust, competition policy, market definition, network industries, market definition, market power, exclusionary practices, monopolization, coordinated behavior, critical mass
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