Economics of Online Competition Explored by Analysis Group in New Guide Published by Global Competition Review
January 17, 2019
Analysis Group competition experts have contributed two chapters to Global Competition Review’s inaugural edition of the E-Commerce Competition Enforcement Guide. Divided into regional sections, the Guide offers a collection of articles examining established competition tools in the context of dealing with new challenges presented by online commerce.
For the Europe section, Managing Principal Aaron Yeater, Principal Antoine Chapsal, and Vice President Joshua White provide an overview of economic considerations for online platforms in the article, “European Union – Two-Sided Markets, Platforms and Network Effects.” The authors begin with an introduction to the economics of two-sided markets, and then discuss the questions of asymmetric pricing and market definition with digital platforms. They also discuss the special considerations required when assessing competition issues for digital platforms, and review how courts have weighed the benefits and costs from potentially anti-competitive restrictions on multisided markets, with a focus on the recent UK interchange fee decisions.
For the Americas section, Managing Principal Rebecca Kirk Fair and Vice Presidents Nikita Piankov and Emmanuel Frot discuss vertical restraints (such as resale price maintenance; most-favored customer terms; exclusive contracts and conditional discounting; and tying and bundling) from the perspective of e-commerce businesses. In the article, “United States – E-commerce Economics: Market Power and Enforcement in Vertical Markets,” the authors first define ways in which e-commerce may differ from traditional commercial transactions. They then review the challenges that arise when using traditional competition models to evaluate vertical relationships and restraints in e-commerce. They conclude by exploring the application of these issues in the context of two recent cases: Apple e-Books and In re: Online Travel Company Hotel Booking Antitrust Litigation.