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Market Definition in the Google Android Case

Lamesch, Joé ULiège
Promotor(s) : Gautier, Axel ULiège
Date of defense : 6-Sep-2016/8-Sep-2016 • Permalink :
Title : Market Definition in the Google Android Case
Author : Lamesch, Joé ULiège
Date of defense  : 6-Sep-2016/8-Sep-2016
Advisor(s) : Gautier, Axel ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Petit, Nicolas ULiège
Broos, Sébastien ULiège
Language : English
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > General economics & history of economic thought
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences économiques, orientation générale, à finalité spécialisée en Economic Analysis and Public Governance
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] The definition of a relevant market is crucial in many antitrust cases. The assessment whether a firm is in a dominant position or not depends highly on the market that has been defined as comprising all competitive constraints to its behaviour. The ongoing case of the European Commission against Google’s mobile operating system Android is an example of such a case, which additionally includes a very specific type of product: multi-sided platforms. The particular nature and functioning of such platforms leaves most common methods of market definition useless and inappropriate. This thesis will use the growing literature on multi-sided platforms to assess the functioning of these products. Further, a prominent precedent case and a close consideration of the general business strategy of Google will help to reveal and to understand how Android works. What role it and other adjacent software play in this wider business strategy of Google. And what the competitive environment is in which these products are operated. The main insights will be that it makes little sense to consider these products without taking into account their interdependent relationship and the competition they face from firms operating with a different business model. It are in fact these various business models that are competing with each other on a higher level, rather than the single products with each other. Comparing these findings with the markets the European Commission has defined as being the relevant markets in this case, hints that the Commission might possibly be missing important aspects of the competition that is taking place between these products and their parent firms.



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  • Lamesch, Joé ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. éco., or. gén., fin. spéc. anal. (ex 2e master)


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