The two sides of platform collusionClick here to read the full article online
The recent case in the meal vouchers market in France has put collusion in twosided markets in the spotlight. This paper discusses the key insights from the recent literature with respect to the consequences of collusion on prices and consumer surplus. I explain why focusing exclusively on prices is misleading in the case of two-sided markets and why a broader assessment also accounting for the impact of collusion on externalities is required. Furthermore, collusion does not necessarily harm all users, which justifies a case-by-case approach. Finally, I provide a concrete example of the assessment of collusion in two-sided markets using the example of the meal vouchers market and show that the insights from the current literature do not apply in this instance. This demonstrates the role that the characteristics of the market under investigation play with respect to the conclusions that may be drawn from collusion in two-sided markets.