Network Structures and Entry into Platform Markets
42 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019 Last revised: 24 Feb 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2018
While some platform markets exhibit strongly interconnected network structures in which a buyer is interested in purchasing services from most providers, many platform markets consist of local clusters in which a buyer is primarily interested in purchasing services from providers within the same cluster. We examine how network structures affect interactions between an incumbent platform serving multiple markets and an entrant platform seeking to enter one of these markets. We find that having more mobile buyers, which increases interconnectivity among markets, reduces the incumbent’s incentive to fight and increases the entrant’s incentive to expand. Incumbent profits increase with interconnectivity. When advertising is inexpensive and mobile buyers consume in both local markets and the markets they visit, greater interconnectivity increases the entrant’s profit, thus encouraging entry.
Keywords: network structure, clustering, platform competition, entry barrier
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