Market definition in two-sided markets: Theory and practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Drawing from the economics of two-sided markets, we provide suggestions for the definition of the relevant market in cases involving two-sided platforms, such as media outlets, online intermediaries, payment cards companies, and auction houses. We also discuss when a one-sided approach may be harmless and when instead it can potentially lead to a wrong decision. We then show that the current practice of market definition in two-sided markets is only in part consistent with the above suggestions. Divergence between our suggestions and practice is due to the failure to fully incorporate the lessons from the economic theory of two-sided markets, to the desire to be consistent with previous practice, and to the higher data requirements and the higher complexity of empirical analysis in cases involving two-sided platforms. In particular, competition authorities have failed to recognize the crucial difference between two-sided transaction and non-transaction markets and have been misled by the traditional argument that where there is no price, there is no market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-339
JournalJournal of Competition Law and Economics
Volume10
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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market
online media
auction
Two-sided markets
Market definition
economic theory
divergence
transaction
economics
Payment card
Authority
Auctions
Relevant market
Economics
Intermediaries
Divergence
Economic theory
Empirical analysis

Cite this

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title = "Market definition in two-sided markets: Theory and practice",
abstract = "Drawing from the economics of two-sided markets, we provide suggestions for the definition of the relevant market in cases involving two-sided platforms, such as media outlets, online intermediaries, payment cards companies, and auction houses. We also discuss when a one-sided approach may be harmless and when instead it can potentially lead to a wrong decision. We then show that the current practice of market definition in two-sided markets is only in part consistent with the above suggestions. Divergence between our suggestions and practice is due to the failure to fully incorporate the lessons from the economic theory of two-sided markets, to the desire to be consistent with previous practice, and to the higher data requirements and the higher complexity of empirical analysis in cases involving two-sided platforms. In particular, competition authorities have failed to recognize the crucial difference between two-sided transaction and non-transaction markets and have been misled by the traditional argument that where there is no price, there is no market.",
author = "L. Filistrucchi and D.A.A.G. Geradin and {van Damme}, E.E.C. and P. Affeldt",
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Market definition in two-sided markets : Theory and practice. / Filistrucchi, L.; Geradin, D.A.A.G.; van Damme, E.E.C.; Affeldt, P.

In: Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2014, p. 293-339.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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