This paper discusses the general characteristics of online markets from a competition theory perspective and the implications for competition policy. Three important Internet markets are analyzed in more detail: search engines, online auction platforms, and social networks. Given the high level of market concentration and the development of competition over time, we use our theoretical insights to examine whether leading Internet platforms have non-temporary market power. Based on this analysis we answer the question whether any specific market regulation beyond general competition law rules is warranted in these three online markets.
two-sided markets online markets digital economy antitrust e-commerce