Christopher Pleatsikas, David Teece

The analyses of market definition and market power in the context of rapid innovation
Keywords: Market definition; Market power; Rapid innovation; High technology industries

Abstract: The basis for competition in many high technology industries is fundamentally different from that in more mature and stable industries. Most obviously, there is a much greater emphasis on performance-based, rather than price-based, competition. In addition, the competitive dynamic is different as well, with products often highly differentiated and periodic discontinuous paradigm shifts that can completely overwhelm pre-existing market positions. The objective of this paper is to review and evaluate some of the traditional techniques used to define markets and measure market power in antitrust analyses. Most significantly, limitations of these techniques when applied in high technology contexts are revealed, particularly when inherently static analytical frameworks are employed. Often their use results in markets that are defined too narrowly, with the consequence that market power is over estimated. To rectify these problems, several alternative methods are suggested. Any method applied in a high technology context must have due regard for the dynamic nature of competition in such industries and must utilize an appropriate time horizon for analyses.