Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platforms

Pretty much all multi-sided platforms are characterized by network effects, whether direct or indirect. Direct effects refer to the increased benefits to users arising from more users using the platform on the same side, and the indirect effects refer to when the value to users on one side of the platform is higher when there is a larger number of users on the other side of the platform.

There are a number of interesting aspects to cases involving multi-sided markets. One threshold challenge, when you’re dealing with one of these cases, is to verify that the product at issue is actually a multi-sided platform.

There are also a number of other interesting things about these cases and challenges, another one is understanding pricing and competition between platforms.

CADE chosen to leave the market definition more open and analyze the cases considering different scenarios of relevant markets and then look for the dynamics of the markets and also for short and long-term effects.

The striking challenges that’s still open for discussion in Brazil, is what we do if we have a strong proof of some anti-competitive harm, but when we go to the market definition we realize that there isn’t a market power in one or in more relevant markets in a multi-sided.