Document Type

Introduction

Publication Date

2005

Center/Program

Center for Law and Economic Studies

Center/Program

Center for Contract and Economic Organization

Abstract

We want to join Bob Pitofsky in thanking the participants in this symposium for their thoughtful contributions. The literature on two-sided markets, both analytical and policy oriented, has mushroomed and this timely set of essays represents a significant contribution. The first generation of this literature grew up around the credit card industry, largely as a result of the antitrust litigation that challenged a wide range of standard practices in that industry. However, the theoretical problems that were first uncovered in this context extend to many other activities as well. The full range of papers found in this symposium, which have become part of an ever larger corpus of writings, may suggest the somewhat facile conclusion that all markets involving three or more players are really two-sided. But any effort to so extend the concept has the unfortunate consequence of trivializing it and of confusing two-sided markets with complex distribution chains that involve manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and the like.

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