Wednesday, September 19, 2018
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to shed light on the economic tools, as well as the legal-economic reasoning, which are used by different European antitrust authorities to assess the allegedly anticompetitive practices of a platform operating in a two-sided market (2SM). First of all, we show that despite the flourishing literature on 2SM economics, antitrust authorities are still facing major challenges when taking decisions concerning two-sided platforms (2SPs). Secondly, we perform a cross-country, comparative study of recent competition proceedings towards the 2SP Booking.com and highlight conceptual and practical divergences among antitrust authorities which are bound by and applying a common European legislation. By concretely and thoroughly showing where the differences lie, our study contributes to identifying the issues to tackle to ensure a better harmonized implementation of measures towards 2SPs at the EU level. Finally, building on the results of our work, we propose some alternative approaches which could benefit future antitrust analyses in 2SMs.