Papers & reports

When Do Markets Tip? An Overview and Some Insights for Policy

Özlem Bedre-DefolieRainer NitscheJournal of European Competition Law & Practice, February 2021

Find out in the latest research by Özlem Bedre Defolie, associate professor at ESMT Berlin, and Rainer Nitsche, director at E.CA Economics and research fellow at ESMT Berlin, published by the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice.

Competition authorities are increasingly concerned that their tools are not fit to deal with markets with digital multi-sided platforms (MSPs). These markets have a tendency to ‘tip’ in the sense that one MSP takes it all or dominates the market by far. Policy makers, including the EC, are currently considering various initiatives to prevent tipping in markets with MSPs. At least in Europe, general search markets have tipped for Google, and many social media markets have tipped for Facebook. Several regional platform markets, however, did not tip (e.g. real estate, music, video-on-demand streaming). This raises some interesting questions: Why don’t we have tipping in these markets? Might they tip? Should competition authorities and regulators follow a particular strategy to prevent tipping in markets at risk of tipping?

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