On Sellers' Cooperation in Hybrid Marketplaces

39 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021 Last revised: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Michele Bisceglia

Michele Bisceglia

University of Bergamo - Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods; University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Jorge Padilla

Compass Lexecon

Date Written: January 24, 2022

Abstract

Hybrid marketplaces, such as Amazon's and Zalando's stores or Apple's and Google's app stores, which distribute their own products and services in competition with those of third-party sellers, play a significant and growing role in the internet economy. This paper shows that such platforms react by lowering the fees charged to sellers and the prices charged to consumers in response to cooperation agreements between third-party sellers: horizontal mergers or collusive agreements. It also shows that cooperation can be pro-competitive when the platform is a vertically integrated gatekeeper, adopts the agency business model, is a close competitor to the third-party sellers it hosts, and observes (or correctly anticipates) the third-party sellers' agreement. The discussion here is of significant policy relevance, since third-party sellers in online marketplaces may find it easier to collude and they may respond to the bargaining power of certain gatekeeper platforms by merging their activities.

Keywords: Antitrust; Collusion; Mergers; Hybrid Marketplace.

JEL Classification: L13; L41; L81.

Suggested Citation

Bisceglia, Michele and Bisceglia, Michele and Padilla, Jorge, On Sellers' Cooperation in Hybrid Marketplaces (January 24, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3799092 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3799092

Michele Bisceglia (Contact Author)

University of Bergamo - Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods ( email )

Salvecchio 19
Bergamo, 24129
Italy

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

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Jorge Padilla

Compass Lexecon ( email )

Paseo de la Castellana 7
Madrid, 28046
Spain

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