July 26, 2022, 14:00–15:00
Economics of Platforms Seminar
We study seller and product recommendations of the hybrid e-commerce platform Amazon. Using web-scraped data, we find that Amazon makes the visibility of offers of third-party suppliers in the "buybox" dependent on prices on competing marketplaces like Walmart and eBay. Amazon’s own offers are visible regardless of their competitiveness. We find that the absence of seller recommendations makes recommendations to related products more effective and Amazon tends to steer consumers in these situations more often to products it sells itself. We discuss that this behavior is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis of an independent marketplace operator.