REVISION: Complements and/or Substitutes? The Competitive Dynamics Between News Publishers and Digital Platforms and What It Means for Competition Policy

This paper is to analyse the competitive dynamics between news publishers and digital platforms. News publishers and digital platforms are vertical complements in that news publishers publish content that helps digital platforms to attract users. In turn, digital platforms generate traffic for news publishers. However, the relationship between news publishers and digital platforms is not harmonious. While digital platforms are an important source of traffic, news publishers are concerned that digital platforms free-ride on their valuable content, but also that that distribute that content in a manner that commoditizes it, hence harming their brands.

News publishers and digital platforms also horizontally compete for user attention and advertising revenues. Internet users in search of news can go to the website or app of their favourite newspaper, but they may also go to Google News, Facebook or Twitter. Similarly, advertisers can spend their online advertising budget on news …

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