Digital Platforms and Market Dominance: Insights from a Systematic Literature Review and Avenues for Future Research

Sebastian Hermes, Simon Pfab, Andreas Hein, Jörg Weking, Markus Böhm, and Helmut Krcmar (2020) – PACIS 2020 Proceedings. 42


Companies that take advantage of digital platforms have rapidly gained a dominant position in their respective markets. While research on digital platforms yielded new insights into winner-take-all markets, envelopment, openness, or governance, no study provided a framework that integrates those aspects and links them to market dominance. We, therefore, conduct a literature review to assess how platform owners attain market dominance. We integrated our findings into a framework that depicts the interrelations between environmental factors and firm-level strategies as well as firm-level strategies and their effects for market dominance. The framework conceptualizes platform dominance to help a) attain it from a platform owner perspective, b) cope with it from a competitive perspective, and c) regulate it from a policy perspective. We propose three avenues for future research: (1) the role of national factors in attaining dominance; (2) factors enabling platforms to sustain dominance; and (3) strategies to dethrone dominant platforms.

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