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Theses

Strategic information and competition in digital markets

Abstract : My PhD focuses on how information sellers use consumer information to shape competition on product markets. The three chapters develop theoretical models where the interactions between data brokers specialized in collecting and selling information, firms competing on a product market, and consumers behaving strategically regarding the price they pay and their concern for privacy. Namely we study first the strategies of data brokers selling information to competing firms allowing them to price discriminate consumers. We show that data brokers do not sell all information about consumers but keep a share of unidentified consumers instead. We focus then on competition and mergers between data brokers, and we show that competition affects the uses of information in several directions. Competing data brokers collect less information than monopolists, but sell more consumer data. We show that consumers benefit from competition between data brokers regarding the price they pay on the product market, but the effects on their privacy are two fold. Finally we consider the reactions of consumers who can hide from data brokers and pay a homogeneous price. We show that in order to moderate consumers' willingness to hide, data brokers will identify more consumers on the product market and thus increase competition between firms. Thus the possibility to hide positively affects consumers on the price they pay, as competition is increased, but as more consumers are identified, their privacy concern increases. Overall, this study answers some key questions on the mechanisms of information collection, and uses by data brokers, how they affect competition on the product market, and how consumers react to it when they are concerned both by the price they pay and by their privacy.
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Antoine Dubus. Strategic information and competition in digital markets. Economics and Finance. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLT037⟩. ⟨tel-02487615⟩

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