The aim of this thesis is to investigate and identify the legal status for two-sided markets within the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union article 101 and 102, and whether the legal status for two-sided markets is in line with the theory of two-sided markets and if it is optimal.
The thesis identifies the legal status for two-sided markets. It shows that the Commissions guidelines requires that the consumers must be substantially the same in order balance efficiency gains across markets. However, the analysis of the case law shows that the European Court of Justice do take into account the explicit nature of two-sided markets, and allowing two-sided platforms to argue for efficiency gains across markets. Furthermore, the case law indicates a more effect based approach to two-sided markets is more suitable.
Then the theory of two-sided markets is presented. It shows that two-sided markets differ from one-sided markets, and that in other to survive or even exist two-sided platforms need to follow certain strategies. Such strategies include pricing structures that include different price levels for the different sides of the market. Furthermore, the theory of two-sided markets argue that competition authorities should take every side of the market in account during a competition analysis.
The thesis discuss the findings of the cases analysed in a legal and economic perspective. In conclusion the thesis advocates that the approach taken by the European Court of Justice is in line with the theory of two-sided markets. The thesis also argue that the European Court of Justice practice contributes to the social welfare by allowing two-sided platforms to assess the strategies pursued by its effects and the nature of a two-sided market in a competition analysis.
|Educations||MSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||78|
|Supervisors||Søren Sandfeld Jakobsen|