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  • 2022EkingenPhD

    Final published version, 2.22 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 27/01/27

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The Relation Between EU Competition Policy and Consumers in Online Multi-Sided Platform Market: An Analysis Based on Consumer Welfare Standard

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date27/01/2027
Number of pages340
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • The Republic of Turkey, Turkish Ministry of National Education
Award date27/01/2022
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Internet has unleashed a boom of entrepreneurship and competition which is unrivalled in history and in the modern era. As a natural consequence of the invention of the Internet and the development of technology and trade, different environments where trade can flourish also began to arise and they pose many differences and necessities which have to be considered by lawmakers. One of these new environments for trade is online multi-sided platforms (MSP). Even though they bring some advantages, they also introduce many new risks for organisations, consumers, governments and the global economy as the existing EU competition rules are planned and regulated to remove the problems within traditional single-sided markets, which consist of a single relationship between actors. One of the basic problems that can be seen is in the positions and conditions of consumers. The relationships between actors in online MSP markets are not as basic and separated as in traditional single-sided markets. For that reason, the behaviour of the online MSPs to consumers and the results of their specific practices can create anticompetitive results such as unfair pricing, lower quality, less variety of products and slower innovation in these markets. Therefore, this thesis aims to analyse how these emerging dynamics in online MSP markets affect consumers’ positions and conditions by reviewing the consumer welfare standard in different existing practices of these platforms. After the consumer welfare oriented competition analysis of geo-blocking, tying and bundling, and most-favoured-nation (MFN) practices of online MSPs, the discussion will conclude that it is necessary to secure greater competition among online MSPs, provide the right conditions for the digital single market in the EU, update existing competition tools in accordance with the need of online MSP markets and the digital economy, and finally provide a comprehensive set of rules for these markets.