The research delves into the role data play in digital platforms’ business strategies and their antitrust implications.
University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition (CTIC) and The Warren Center for Network & Data Sciences have released the findings of nine independent research projects that focus on current market dynamics for online services and the business strategies and models that digital platforms are pursuing through access to user data. The initiative was funded by a major grant from Knight Foundation.
Christopher S. Yoo, the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and CTIC’s founding director.“This new research will result in a stronger foundation for antitrust enforcement and regulatory intervention in today’s evolving digital markets,“ said co-project leader
According to co-project leader Rakesh Vohra, the George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor of Economics and Electrical and Systems Engineering and The Warren Center’s founding director, the project was an interdisciplinary effort that leveraged the Law School, Penn Engineering, and other Penn institutions, and brought together scholars from additional U.S. and international institutions.
“Prof. Yoo and I, and our respective centers, are grateful to the Knight Foundation for allowing us to launch this pathbreaking project,” said Vohra.
The research findings and policy implications were presented at the Inaugural Research Symposium on the Economics of Digital Services held virtually on September 10-11, 2021. Authors and former Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division officials participated in the program, which was hosted by Profs. Yoo and Vohra. The symposium playback is available here.
The nine research projects with scholars are below. For full papers, go to the Economics of Digital Services website. For corresponding blog articles, visit the initiative’s blog.
- Yannis Bakos and Hanna Halaburda (both of New York University): Blockchains, Smart Contracts and Connected Sensors: Substitutes or Complements?
- Joan Calzada (University of Barcelona), Nestor Duch-Brown (European Joint Research Center), and Ricard Gil (Queen’s University): Do Search Engines Increase Concentration in Media Markets?
- Juan Camilo Castillo (University of Pennsylvania), and Amit Gandhi (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania): Competition in Cloud Computing
- Cristobal Cheyre (Cornell University), Li Jiang (The George Washington University), Alisa Frik (University of California, Berkeley), Florian Schaub (University of Michigan), and Alessandro Acquisti (Carnegie Mellon University): The Effect of Ad-Blocking and Anti-Tracking on Consumer Behavior
- Avinash Collis (The University of Texas at Austin), Alex Moehring (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Ananya Sen (Carnegie Mellon University), and Alessandro Acquisti (Carnegie Mellon University): Quantifying the User Value of Social Media
- Hanming Fang (University of Pennsylvania) and Soo Jin Kim (ShanghaiTech University): Data Neutrality and Market Competition
- Jose E. Galdon-Sanchez (UPNA) and Ricard Gil (Queen’s University): Big Data Adoption and Employment in Small and Medium Enterprises
- Jeremy Greenwood (University of Pennsylvania), Yueyuan Ma (University of Pennsylvania), and Mehmet Yörükoğlu (Koç University): ‘You Will’: A Macro-economic Analysis of Digital Advertising
- Jin-Hyuk Kim (University of Colorado Boulder), Yidan Sun (Illinois Institute of Technology), and Liad Wagman (Illinois Institute of Technology), The Value of Technology Releases in the Apple iOS App Ecosystem
Economics of Digital Services (EODS) is a three-year initiative. Its aim is to generate independent research on the economics of digital services and the role of data and algorithms in the business strategies of digital platforms. The initiative was funded by a major grant from Knight Foundation to support scholarly inquiry and novel approaches in the evolving digital age.
CTIC and The Warren Center will soon announce next year’s grant recipients and research areas.