The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy

44 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Aug 2020

See all articles by Bruno Jullien

Bruno Jullien

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Wilfried Sand-Zantman

University of Toulouse Capitole

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2020

Abstract

We propose an analysis of platform competition based on the academic literature with

a view toward competition policy. First, we discuss to which extent competition can

emerge in digital markets and show which forms it can take. In particular, we underline

the role of dynamics, but also of platform differentiation, consumers multihoming

and beliefs to allow competition in platform markets. Second, we analyze

competition policy issues and discuss how rules designed for standard markets can

perform in two-sided markets. We show that multi-sided externalities create new

opportunities for anti-competitive conducts, often related to pricing and contractual

imperfections.

Keywords: competition policy, networks, platforms, two-sided markets

JEL Classification: D82, L13, L41, L86

Suggested Citation

Jullien, Bruno and Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy (July 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15071, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3661414

Bruno Jullien (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Wilfried Sand-Zantman

University of Toulouse Capitole ( email )

France

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