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A 2012 progress report on The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platforms

 |  March 6, 2013

David Evans, Richard Schmalensee, Nov 13, 2012

Adapted from the Introduction and Conclusions to The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platforms by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee, which is forthcoming in Roger Blair and Daniel Sokol, eds., Oxford Handbook on International Antitrust Economics, Oxford University Press.

Since the birth of the multi-sided platform literature, three noteworthy developments have taken place.

  • First, there has emerged a large and rapidly expanding literature on multi-sided platforms in economics, antitrust, and strategic management. We have identified more than 150 articles on multi-sided platforms that have appeared in print or in working paper form since we last surveyed this area in 2007 for an ABA compendium on antitrust. It is still early in the development of this corner of industrial organization, and by no means have all important questions been answered.
  • Second, competition authorities around the world have used the multi-sided platform framework to evaluate cases and reach decisions. The OECD 2009 survey examined how various authorities were approaching cases involving platforms. The multi-sided platform literature is regularly cited in submissions in legal and investigative proceedings.
  • Third, a number of large global multi-sided platforms have emerged as a result of ongoing revolutions involving the Internet, mobile devices, and information technology more broadly. These platforms have garnered considerable attention from antitrust authorities—for example the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s and the European Commission’s investigations of Google—and private complainants—such as Qihoo 360’s lawsuit against Tencent in China and the Consumer Watchdog complaint against Facebook in the U.S. Read more…

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A 2012 progress report on The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platforms