Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Antitrust in Two-Sided Markets: Is Competition Always Desirable?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ingo Fiedler, University of Hamburg - Institute of Commercial Law asks Antitrust in Two-Sided Markets: Is Competition Always Desirable?

ABSTRACT: The main objective of antitrust interventions is to assure competition in markets to benefit consumers. This paper challenges this common approach by examining the case of a satellite broadcasting network with monopoly power. First, satellite TV is identified as a two-sided market. It is then analyzed in the framework of the canonical model for two-sided markets developed by Rochet & Tirole (2004). The main finding is that the satellite network maximizes his profits by choosing a price formation which maximizes the overall welfare of all market participants. Even if the satellite network uses his monopoly power to introduce a fee to receive satellite TV, it would do so only until the semi-elasticity of the amount of consumers in regard to the per-interaction-price equals the one of the TV stations – exactly the point where welfare is maximized. It is therefore concluded that antitrust cases have to take a more in-depth look at two-sided markets before deciding that competition is best for consumers.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2010/12/antitrust-in-two-sided-markets-is-competition-always-desirable.html

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