Antitrust Analysis of Two-Sided Platforms after AmEx: A Transatlantic View

A modified version is forthcoming in European Competition Journal (2019)

Stanford-Vienna TTLF Working Paper No. 41

39 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2019 Last revised: 26 Apr 2019

See all articles by Oscar Borgogno

Oscar Borgogno

Bank of Italy; University of Turin, Faculty of Law; University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, Faculty of Law

Giuseppe Colangelo

University of Basilicata, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics; Stanford Law School; LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Business and Management

Date Written: February 7, 2019

Abstract

The US Supreme Court ruling in American Express marks a breakthrough for antitrust enforcement in two-sided markets. Not surprisingly, the ruling has sparked lively discussions in the antitrust law and economics community.

The majority of the Court argues that if both groups of players are needed to participate simultaneously for a transaction to occur, then both sides of the platform must be included when defining the relevant market. Furthermore, indirect network effects must be duly considered when carrying out antitrust analysis of transaction platforms. Hence, no inference of anti-competitive effects can be derived from price increases on one side of the platform, this being only a natural consequence of differences in the two groups’ demand elasticity. Moreover, the Court stresses the relevance of the business model when carrying out the antitrust evaluation of a commercial practice.

By drawing a comparison with the EU scenario, the paper analyses how the two-sidedness of platforms may affect the definition of the relevant market, and the assessment of competitive effects and undertakings’ business models.

Keywords: Antitrust; payment cards; two-sided platforms; market definition; business models; non-discrimination rules

JEL Classification: K21; L40; L42

Suggested Citation

Borgogno, Oscar and Colangelo, Giuseppe, Antitrust Analysis of Two-Sided Platforms after AmEx: A Transatlantic View (February 7, 2019). A modified version is forthcoming in European Competition Journal (2019), Stanford-Vienna TTLF Working Paper No. 41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3330470 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3330470

Oscar Borgogno

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

University of Turin, Faculty of Law ( email )

Torino
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.dg.unito.it/do/docenti.pl/Show?_id=oborgogn#profilo

University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, Faculty of Law

St Cross Building
St Cross Rd
Oxford
United Kingdom

Giuseppe Colangelo (Contact Author)

University of Basilicata, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics ( email )

Via dell'Ateneo Lucano 10
Potenza
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/giuseppecolangelouni/home

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.stanford.edu/transatlantic-technology-law-forum/

LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Business and Management ( email )

Viale Romania 32
Rome, Roma 00197
Italy

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