Vertical Integration of Platforms and Product Prominence


Meta-search platforms, which enable consumers to compare product prices between different sales channels, are sometimes integrated with certain channels. A case in point is the online hotel booking industry where the major online travel agencies are integrated with meta-search platforms. Studying web-scraped data from the meta-search platform Kayak, we find indications that, for a given hotel, the offers of affiliated online travel agents (like are more visible than those of other online travel agents with the same price. Moreover, hotels appear to be less prominent in Kayak’s search results when the rival online travel agent Expedia has the lowest price.

Quantitative Marketing and Economics, 20, 353-395
Reinhold Kesler
Reinhold Kesler
Senior Research Associate

My research agenda involves studying the power of digital platforms and the value of user data by means of innovative data collection and state-of-the-art empirical methods.