Discussion Paper Details

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Title: The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy

Author(s): Bruno Jullien and Wilfried Sand-Zantman

Publication Date: July 2020

Keyword(s): competition policy, networks, platforms and two-sided markets

Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization

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.

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Bibliographic Reference

Jullien, B and Sand-Zantman, W. 2020. 'The Economics of Platforms: A Theory Guide for Competition Policy'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.