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The Boundaries of the Platform: Vertical Integration and Economic Incentives in Mobile Computing

Authors
  • Boudreau, Kevin
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2005
Source
HAL
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Research on the organization of systems industries generally takes the boundaries of platforms to be exogenously-determined artifacts, given by the nature of technology. This paper studies whether platform boundaries are responsive to economic incentives by studying variation in platform boundaries in competing systems in mobile computing. Using detailed descriptive evidence and systematically collected databases of integration patterns, I find that platform boundaries in this industry could be understood as established in response to three primary goals: 1) to consolidate control around assets that conferred the power to regulate production in the system as a whole; 2) to integrate economic activities that risked coordination problems; 3) to open platform boundaries in response to interactions with market competition.

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