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Online services and the analysis of competitive merger effects in privacy protections and other quality dimensions

Keith Waehrer
Working paper
April 22, 2016
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In this paper, Keith Waehrer presents a model of competition in privacy and/or quality offered to consumers in two-sided online markets in which revenue is derived from advertising or the selling of user data. 

The model and results provide tools which competition authorities can use to improve the level of analysis of the effects of mergers on the consumer side in such two-sided online markets, hopefully leading to a more complete analysis of the effects on competition for consumers and better enforcement decisions. The technique can also be adapted for use in analyzing quality competition in other contexts.