Internet of things (IoT) brings new opportunities and represents a new source of welfare and efficiency. However, the emerging consumer IoT platform competition creates the risk of monopoly power due to network effects. Overall, it is likely that both competition (incentivized through lowering consumer switching costs) and cooperation (achieved through interoperability, which enables data portability and service provider multihoming) are needed to maximize social welfare. This article aims to address how consumer switching costs and provider multihoming affect competition of emerging consumer IoT data platforms under different market conditions and regulatory schemes. It utilizes agent-based modelling that is especially suitable when decision making is distributed at a micro level while some rules are applied in a centralized fashion. The obtained findings emphasize the role of the regulator in guiding the market. It seems that when switching costs diminish at all sides of the platforms, consumers and service providers will favour the platform with a higher number of users. Further, service provider multihoming mitigates market concentration on both sides of a platform when switching costs are low. Thus, there seems to be a minimum level of interoperability needed to promote market competition. Further, although data portability gives more freedom to consumers in choosing a platform provider, it may result in a winner-takes-all situation due to strong indirect network effects.
|Original language||American English|
|State||Published - 1 Feb 2020|
- Consumer switching
- Data portability
- Network effect
- Service provider multihoming