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Buyer power and competition policy: from brick-and-mortar retailers to digital platforms°
Journal Title: ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE  
Author/s: Antonio Buttà, Andrea Pezzoli 
Year:  2014 Issue: Language: English 
Pages:  0 Pg. 159-179 FullText PDF:  71 KB
DOI:  10.3280/POLI2014-004008
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In the grocery industry, small local or even national food suppliers are often portrayed as defenseless preys of the large distribution chains that operate in contemporary brick-and-mortar retailing. Publishers have also started to complain about the power exercised by the large digital platforms that control the distribution of online content to final users. The issue of "buyer power" has thus come under the spotlight of policy makers and antitrust authorities in various jurisdictions. In this paper, we review the economic analysis of buyer power and highlight the circumstances under which it might have a detrimental impact on competition. In the competition-oriented perspective, we discuss how buyer power might affect the traditional grocery industry and whether or not it is also relevant in the distribution of digital content on the Internet. We conclude examining the possible scope for public intervention using either the traditional antitrust toolbox or ad hoc legislative provisions on the abuse of economic dependence and unfair trading practices. Jel classification: L19, L40, L59
Keywords: Buyer power, antitrust, grocery industry, online platforms

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Antonio Buttà, Andrea Pezzoli, in "ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE " 4/2014, pp. 159-179, DOI:10.3280/POLI2014-004008

   

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