Competition Concerns in Multi-Sided Markets in Mobile Communication
The market for modern mobile phones (known as smartphones) is growing. Due to ongoing technical progress these devices offer more and more functionality. The possibility of an advanced use of the mobile internet is a key characteristic shared by most of them. The applications and services of these devices are built upon mobile operating systems that allow the users to (partly) adjust the interface to their preferences (e.g. customization by downloading applications). Within the value chain different players can be distinguished that are influencing the overall user experience of mobile handsets, i.e. manufacturers of mobile devices (e.g. Nokia, Apple, Samsung), hardware suppliers (e.g. chip developers), network carriers (e.g. Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone, Verizon), providers of mobile operating systems (e.g. Apple, Google), providers of mobile application stores (e.g. Apple, Google, Amazon) as well as providers of applications that are sold via mobile application stores (various players in a variety of fields like games, navigation, information, communication).
I thank Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kerber and my colleague Dipl. Volksw. Julia Wendel for helpful comments. The author is of course responsible for all remaining errors.