Benjamin G. Edelman

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Unit: Negotiation, Organizations & Markets

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(617) 496-2055

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Ben is an associate professor at the Harvard Business School in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit.

Ben's current research explores the public and private forces shaping Internet architecture and business opportunities. He has written about the implications of growing market concentration in Internet search and resulting risks for advertisers. Examining the mechanisms that allocate pay-per-click advertising, Ben compared the revenue of alternative pricing rules, quantifying the losses from early inefficient auction systems. He has also analyzed the stability and truth-telling properties of modern online advertising systems, and he designed a simulated bidding environment to evaluate bidding strategies empirically.

Ben's recent online privacy investigations uncovered a series of privacy violations including Google Toolbar continuing to track user browsing even after users "disable" the toolbar, as well as Facebook revealing users' names and details to advertisers (even after specifically promising the contrary).

Ben's work on Internet infrastructure includes devising policies and institutions to mitigate the worst effects of scarcity of IPv4 addresses, the numeric identifiers most computers currently use to connect to the Internet. Previously, Ben flagged systemic flaws in Internet filtering systems used in US libraries and schools , and his software performed the first large-scale testing of international Internet filtering (in China and Saudi Arabia). Ben's empirical analyses uncovered the extent of expired domain names subsequently used for pornography and registered with intentionally inaccurate WHOIS data.

Ben has sought to block deceptive advertising software ("spyware" and "adware") by chronicling vendors' various unsavory tactics. He was the first to assemble video proof of nonconsensual software installations through security exploits and through "confirmation" screens that install software even when a user specifically declined. Exploring the revenue streams for deceptive software, he documented advertisers supporting spyware, advertising intermediaries funding spyware, affiliate commission fraud, and click fraud.

Ben's consumer protection writings include critiquing online "safety" certifications that fail to adequately protect users, flagging numerous deceptive advertising practices, and documenting airlines' false statements about "tax."

As a Student Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Ben analyzed the formative documents and activities of ICANN, ran Berkman Center webcasts, and developed software tools for real-time use in meetings, classes, and special events. He oversaw ICANN Public Meeting webcasts and operated the technology used at ICANN's first twelve quarterly meetings.

Ben's consulting practice focuses on preventing and detecting online fraud (especially advertising fraud). Representative clients include the ACLU, AOL, the City of Los Angeles, the National Association of Broadcasters, Microsoft, the National Football League, the New York Times, Universal Music Group, the Washington Post, and Wells Fargo.

Ben teaches an MBA elective course entitled The Online Economy, a survey of all manner of online business. Ben's teaching includes real-time on-screen chalkboard-style notes using a tool he offers to other interested instructors.

Ben holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, a J.D. from the Harvard Law School, an A.M. in Statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College (summa cum laude). He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Featured Work

Publications

Journal Articles

  1. Lessons: Pitfalls and Fraud in Online Advertising Metrics.

    How does online advertising become less effective than advertisers expect and less effective than measurements indicate? The current research explores problems that result, in part, from malfeasance by outside perpetrators who overstate their efforts to increase their measured performance. In parallel, similar vulnerabilities result from mistaken analysis of cause and effect—errors that have become more fundamental as advertisers target their advertisements with greater precision. In the paper that follows, the author attempts to identify the circumstances that make advertisers most vulnerable, notes adjusted contract structures that offer some protections, and explores the origins of the problems in participants' incentives and in legal rules.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; measurement; mismeasurement; fraud; invisible; Online Advertising; Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Marketing Strategy;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G. "Lessons: Pitfalls and Fraud in Online Advertising Metrics." Journal of Advertising Research 54, no. 2 (June 2014). View Details
  2. Risk, Information, and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing

    We examine online affiliate marketing programs in which merchants oversee thousands of affiliates they have never met. Some merchants hire outside specialists to set and enforce policies for affiliates, while other merchants ask their ordinary marketing staff to perform these functions. For clear violations of applicable rules, we find that outside specialists are most effective at excluding the responsible affiliates, which we interpret as a benefit of specialization. However, in-house staff are more successful at identifying and excluding affiliates whose practices are viewed as "borderline" (albeit still contrary to merchants' interests), foregoing the efficiencies of specialization in favor of the better incentives of a company's staff. We consider the implications for marketing of online affiliate programs and for online marketing more generally.

    Keywords: affiliate marketing; incentives; fraud; advertising; Online Technology; Marketing Communications; Ethics; Online Advertising;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G., and Wesley Brandi. "Risk, Information, and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing." Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) (forthcoming). View Details
  3. Pricing and Efficiency in the Market for IP Addresses

    We consider market rules for transferring IP addresses, numeric identifiers required by all computers connected to the Internet. Transfers usefully move resources from lowest- to highest-valuation networks, but transfers tend to cause socially costly growth in the Internet's routing table. We propose a market rule that avoids excessive trading and comes close to achieving social efficiency. We argue that this rule is feasible despite the limited powers of central authorities. We also offer a framework for reasoning about future prices of IP addresses and then explore the role of rentals in sharing information about the value of IP address and assuring allocative efficiency.

    Keywords: market design; externalities; internet; intermediaries; Market Design; Internet; Web Services Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Schwarz. "Pricing and Efficiency in the Market for IP Addresses." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics (forthcoming). View Details
  4. Mastering the Intermediaries: Strategies for Dealing with the Likes of Google, Amazon, and Kayak

    Many companies depend on powerful platforms which distinctively influence buyers' purchasing. (Consider, Google, Amazon, and myriad others in their respective spheres.) I consider implications of these platforms' market power, then suggest strategies to help companies recapture value or at least protect themselves from abuse.

    Keywords: competition; market power; dominance; Advertising Campaigns; Marketing Channels; Agreements and Arrangements; Competitive Strategy; Negotiation; Transportation Industry; Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G. "Mastering the Intermediaries: Strategies for Dealing with the Likes of Google, Amazon, and Kayak." Harvard Business Review 92, no. 6 (June 2014): 86–92. View Details
  5. To Groupon or Not to Groupon: The Profitability of Deep Discounts

    We examine the profitability and implications of online discount vouchers, a relatively new marketing tool that offers consumers large discounts when they prepay for participating firms' goods and services. Within a model of repeat experience good purchase, we examine two mechanisms by which a discount voucher service can benefit affiliated firms: price discrimination and advertising. For vouchers to provide successful price discrimination, the valuations of consumers who have access to vouchers must generally be lower than those of consumers who do not have access to vouchers. Offering vouchers tends to be more profitable for firms which are patient or relatively unknown, and for firms with low marginal costs. Extensions to our model accommodate the possibilities of multiple voucher purchases and firm price re-optimization. Despite the potential benefits of online discount vouchers to certain firms in certain circumstances, our analysis reveals the narrow conditions in which vouchers are likely to increase firm profits.

    Keywords: voucher discounts; Groupon; experience goods; repeat purchase; Online Technology; Marketing Strategy; Marketing Communications;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, Sonia Jaffe, and Scott Duke Kominers. "To Groupon or Not to Groupon: The Profitability of Deep Discounts." Marketing Letters (forthcoming). (First circulated in June 2011. Featured in Working Knowledge: Is Groupon Good for Retailers? Excerpted in HBR Blogs: To Groupon or Not To Groupon: New Research on Voucher Profitability.) View Details
  6. Convergence of Position Auctions under Myopic Best-Response Dynamics

    We study the dynamics of multi-round position auctions, considering both the case of exogenous click-through rates and the case in which click-through rates are determined by an endogenous consumer search process. In both contexts, we demonstrate that the dynamic auctions converge to their associated static, envy-free equilibria. Furthermore, convergence is efficient, and the entry of low-quality advertisers does not slow convergence. Because our approach predominantly relies on assumptions common in the sponsored search literature, our results suggest that dynamic position auctions converge more generally.

    Keywords: sponsored search; advertising; google; equilibrium selection; Online Advertising; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Cary, Matthew, Aparna Das, Benjamin Edelman, Ioannis Giotis, Kurtis Heimerl, Anna Karlin, Scott Kominers, Claire Mathieu, and Michael Schwarz. "Convergence of Position Auctions under Myopic Best-Response Dynamics." ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation 2, no. 3 (July 2014): 1–20. View Details
  7. Guidance from ARIN on Legal Aspects of the Transfer of Internet Protocol Numbers

    Every device connected to the global Internet needs a numeric identifier, an "Internet Protocol" address ("IP address"). The Internet's continued growth presents a challenge: most IP addresses have already been assigned to networks and organizations, leaving few left for newcomers and growth. In this context, some networks seek to sell the addresses they previously received—sales that can usefully transfer resources to the networks that most need them, but with certain risks that must be handled with appropriate care. We examine the legal basis of applicable rights and identify the circumstances in which such transfers are permitted.

    Keywords: IP addresses; regulation; contracts; Market Design; Market Transactions; Rights; Contracts; Internet; Technology Adoption; Technology Networks;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Stephen Ryan. "Guidance from ARIN on Legal Aspects of the Transfer of Internet Protocol Numbers." Business Law Today (May 2013). View Details
  8. Advertising Disclosures: Measuring Labeling Alternatives in Internet Search Engines

    In an online experiment, we measure users' interactions with search engines, both in standard configurations and in modified versions with clearer labels identifying search engine advertisements. In particular, for a random subset of users, we change "Sponsored links" or "Ads" labels to instead read "Paid Advertisements." Relative to users receiving the "Sponsored link" or "Ad" labels, users receiving the "Paid Advertisement" label click 25% and 27% fewer advertisements, respectively. Users seeing "Paid Advertisement" labels also correctly report that they click fewer advertisements, controlling for the number of advertisements they actually click. Results are most pronounced for commercial searches and for vulnerable users with low education and little online experience.

    Keywords: Corporate Disclosure; Online Advertising; Measurement and Metrics; Internet; Search Technology; Education; Labels;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Duncan S. Gilchrist. "Advertising Disclosures: Measuring Labeling Alternatives in Internet Search Engines." Information Economics and Policy 24, no. 1 (March 2012): 75–89. View Details
  9. Antitrust Scrutiny of Google

    I evaluate antitrust claims against Google and propose possible remedies. While Google's specific tactics are often novel, I show connections to practices deemed unlawful over a period of decades, and I identify remedies well grounded in antitrust precedent.

    Keywords: competition; antitrust; google; search; non-price terms; Online Advertising; Lawsuits and Litigation; Advertising Industry; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Antitrust Scrutiny of Google." Journal of Law 2, no. 2 (2012): 445–464. View Details
  10. Earnings and Ratings at Google Answers

    I analyze all questions and answers from the inception of the Google Answers service through November 2003, and I find notable trends in answerer behavior: more experienced answerers provide answers with the characteristics askers most value, receiving higher ratings as a result. Answerer earnings increase in experience, consistent with learning on the job. Answerers who focus on particular question categories provide answers of higher quality but earn lower pay per hour (perhaps reflecting a lack of versatility). Answers provided during the business day receive higher payments per hour (a compensating differential for working when outside options are most attractive), but more experienced answerers tend to forego these opportunities.

    Keywords: Service Delivery; Opportunities; Behavior; Value; Jobs and Positions; Wages; Business Earnings;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Earnings and Ratings at Google Answers." Economic Inquiry (April 2012): 309–320. (draft as first circulated in 2004.) View Details
  11. Internet Protocol Numbers and the American Registry for Internet Numbers: Suggested Guidance for Bankruptcy Trustees, Debtors-in-Possession, and Receivers

    Bankruptcy trustees, debtors-in-possession, and receivers are seeing an increase in efforts to sell Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, also referred to "IP Numbers." IP Numbers are the unique numeric identifiers associated with computers connected to the Internet. While sales of IP Numbers can deliver value to the estate, IP Numbers are unusual in that their value, use, and transfer are enhanced by applicable contract and policy. Ignoring the contracts and policies can delay the sale process and reduce or negate the value of IP Numbers. This article seeks to provide an overview of issues associated with IP Number sales, as well as suggesting an approach for permissible and straightforward sales to obtain the highest value.

    Keywords: Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Internet; Sales; Value; Policy; Contracts;

    Citation:

    Ryan, Stephen, Benjamin Edelman, and Matthew Martel. "Internet Protocol Numbers and the American Registry for Internet Numbers: Suggested Guidance for Bankruptcy Trustees, Debtors-in-Possession, and Receivers." BNA's Bankruptcy Law Reporter (January 5, 2012). View Details
  12. Using Internet Data for Economic Research

    The data used by economists can be broadly divided into two categories. First, structured datasets arise when a government agency, trade association, or company can justify the expense of assembling records. The Internet has transformed how economists interact with these datasets by lowering the cost of storing, updating, distributing, finding, and retrieving this information. Second, some economic researchers affirmatively collect data of interest. Historically, assembling a dataset might involve delving through annual reports or archives that had not previously been organized into a format ready for research: in some cases, surveying stores, factories, consumers, or workers, or in other cases, carrying out an experiment. For researcher-collected data, the Internet opens exceptional possibilities both by increasing the amount of information available for researchers to gather and by lowering researchers' costs of collecting information. In this paper, I explore the Internet's new datasets, present methods for harnessing their wealth, and survey a sampling of the research questions these data help to answer.

    Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Research; Internet; Cost Management; Information Management; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Reports; Archives; Surveys; Economics;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Using Internet Data for Economic Research." Journal of Economic Perspectives 26, no. 2 (spring 2012): 189–206. View Details
  13. Adverse Selection in Online 'Trust' Certifications and Search Results

    Widely used online "trust" authorities issue certifications without substantial verification of recipients' actual trustworthiness. This lax approach gives rise to adverse selection: the sites that seek and obtain trust certifications are actually less trustworthy than others. Using an original dataset on web site safety, I demonstrate that sites certified by the best-known authority, TRUSTe, are more than twice as likely to be untrustworthy as uncertified sites. This difference remains statistically and economically significant when restricted to "complex" commercial sites. Meanwhile, search engines create an implied endorsement in their selection of ads for display, but I show that search engine advertisements tend to be less safe than the corresponding organic listings.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Safety; Trust; Internet; Search Technology; Web Sites;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Adverse Selection in Online 'Trust' Certifications and Search Results." Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 10, no. 1 (January–February 2011): 17–25. View Details
  14. Bias in Search Results?: Diagnosis and Response

    I explore allegations of search engine bias, including understanding a search engine's incentives to bias results, identifying possible forms of bias, and evaluating methods of verifying whether bias in fact occurs. I then consider possible legal and policy responses, and I assess search engines' likely defenses. I conclude that regulatory intervention is justified in light of the importance of search engines in referring users to all manner of other sites, and in light of striking market concentration among search engines.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Motivation and Incentives; Outcome or Result; Markets; Legal Liability; Policy; Search Technology; Performance Evaluation; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms;

  15. Least-Cost Avoiders in Online Fraud and Abuse

    Web users face considerable fraud, malfeasance, and economic harm that system operators could prevent or mitigate. Although the legal system can respond, regulations have mixed results. I examine the applicable legal rules that constrain online fraud and the economic underpinnings to identify whether those rules assign responsibility to the parties best positioned to take action.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Crime and Corruption; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Economics; Law;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Least-Cost Avoiders in Online Fraud and Abuse." IEEE Security & Privacy (July–August 2010): 78–81. View Details
  16. Measuring the Perpetrators and Funders of Typosquatting

    We describe a method for identifying "typosquatting", the intentional registration of misspellings of popular website addresses. We estimate that at least 938,000 typosquatting domains target the top 3,264 .com sites, and we crawl more than 285,000 of these domains to analyze their revenue sources. We find that 80% are supported by pay-per-click ads, often advertising the correctly spelled domain and its competitors. Another 20% include static redirection to other sites. We present an automated technique that uncovered 75 otherwise legitimate websites which benefited from direct links from thousands of misspellings of competing websites. Using regression analysis, we find that websites in categories with higher pay-per-click ad prices face more typosquatting registrations, indicating that ad platforms such as Google AdWords exacerbate typosquatting. However, our investigations also confirm the feasibility of significantly reducing typosquatting. We find that typosquatting is highly concentrated: of typo domains showing Google ads, 63% use one of five advertising IDs, and some large name servers host typosquatting domains as much as four times as often as the web as a whole.

    Keywords: Measurement and Metrics; Online Technology; Web;

    Citation:

    Moore, Tyler, and Benjamin Edelman. "Measuring the Perpetrators and Funders of Typosquatting." Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer-Verlag. Financial Cryptography and Data Security: Proceedings of the International Conference 6052 (2010). (Introduction, Web appendix.) View Details
  17. Optimal Auction Design and Equilibrium Selection in Sponsored Search Auctions

    We characterize the optimal (revenue maximizing) auction for sponsored search advertising. We show that a search engine's optimal reserve price is independent of the number of bidders and independent of the rate at which click-through rate declines over positions. We separate the effects of reserve price increases into direct effects (on the low bidder) and indirect effects (on others), and we show that most of the incremental revenue from setting reserve price optimally comes from indirect effects.

    Keywords: Auctions; Revenue; Advertising; Search Technology; Price; Bids and Bidding;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Schwarz. "Optimal Auction Design and Equilibrium Selection in Sponsored Search Auctions." American Economic Review 100, no. 2 (May 2010): 597–602. (First circulated in 2006 as Optimal Auction Design in a Multi-unit Environment: The Case of Sponsored Search Auctions.) View Details
  18. The Pathologies of Online Display Advertising Marketplaces

    Display advertising marketplaces place "banner" ads on all manner of popular sites. While these services are widely used, they suffer significant challenges, including weak user response and low accountability for both advertisers and web site publishers. I survey a few major challenges, flagging possible areas for future research.

    Keywords: Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Cost; Corporate Accountability; Information Publishing; Consumer Behavior; Relationships; Web Sites;

  19. Adverse Selection in Online 'Trust' Certifications

    Widely used online "trust" authorities issue certifications without substantial verification of recipients' actual trustworthiness. This lax approach gives rise to adverse selection: the sites that seek and obtain trust certifications are actually less trustworthy than others. Using a new dataset on web site safety, I demonstrate that sites certified by the best-known authority, TRUSTe, are more than twice as likely to be untrustworthy as uncertified sites. This difference remains statistically and economically significant when restricted to "complex" commercial sites. In contrast, competing certification system BBBOnline imposes somewhat stricter requirements and appears to provide a certification of positive, albeit limited, value.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Web Sites; Trust; Governance Compliance; Value; Complexity;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Adverse Selection in Online 'Trust' Certifications." Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Commerce (2009): 205–212. (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series.) View Details
  20. The Dark Underbelly of Online Advertising

    The Internet is sold to advertisers as a highly measurable medium that is the most efficient way to target exactly the right customers. But online advertising is also easily subverted—letting fraudsters claim advertising fees for work they did not actually do. The trickiest frauds deceive advertisers so effectively that measurements of ad effectiveness report the fraudsters as exceptionally productive and high quality, rather than revealing that their traffic was actually worthless. This is a quiet scandal. In a time of tightening ad budgets, losses to advertising fraud come straight from the bottom line—but savings can be equally dramatic. Here's a look behind the veil—an explanation of ad practices that have cheated even the Web's largest advertisers. Advertising scams take plenty of victims, both witting and not, but I offer strategies to help determined marketers protect themselves.

    Keywords: Safety; Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "The Dark Underbelly of Online Advertising." HBR Now (November 17, 2009). View Details
  21. Deterring Online Advertising Fraud Through Optimal Payment in Arrears

    Online advertisers face substantial difficulty in selecting and supervising small advertising partners. Fraud can be well hidden, and limited reputation systems reduce accountability. But partners are not paid until after their work is complete, and advertisers can extend this delay both to improve detection of improper partner practices and to punish partners who turn out to be rule-breakers. I capture these relationships in a screening model with delayed payments and probabilistic delayed observation of agents' types. I derive conditions in which an advertising principal can set its payment delay to deter rogue agents and to attract solely or primarily good-type agents. Through the savings from excluding rogue agents, the principal can increase its profits while offering increased payments to good-type agents. I estimate that a leading affiliate network could have invoked an optimal payment delay to eliminate 71% of fraud without decreasing profit.

    Keywords: Cost Management; Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Profit; Online Advertising; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Deterring Online Advertising Fraud Through Optimal Payment in Arrears." Financial Cryptography and Data Security: Proceedings of the International Conference (September 2009). (Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science.) (Featured in Working Knowledge: Reducing Risk with Online Advertising.) View Details
  22. Fraud in Online Advertising

    At first glance, online advertising seems to be as measurable a medium as any ever invented. Advertisers can count how many times an ad was sent, then measure sales—yielding an analysis that seems to report the value of an online ad campaign. But the reality is considerably more complicated.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Online Advertising; Crime and Corruption; Measurement and Metrics; Value;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Fraud in Online Advertising." Business Standard (April 27, 2009). View Details
  23. How to Combat Online Ad Fraud

    Online advertisers frequently fall victim to dishonest, tech-savvy publishers. Here's a sampling of common scams with some advice on how to outwit their perpetrators.

    Keywords: Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Ethics; Marketing; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "How to Combat Online Ad Fraud." Harvard Business Review 87, no. 12 (December 2009): 24–25. View Details
  24. Priced and Unpriced Online Markets

    With forces both supporting and opposing zero prices, typical Internet-related activities—like surfing the web, web searches, and e-mail, along with behind-the-scenes practices like domain names and the allocation of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses—present a natural context to reevaluate our sense of the tradeoffs that arise between free and a positive price. In this piece, I offer a series of specific examples of resources offered without charge, for a positive price, or for a flat fee ("all-you-can-eat"). I conclude by assessing the characteristics that shape pricing structure for these resources.

    Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Price; Market Transactions; Service Operations; Internet;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Priced and Unpriced Online Markets." Journal of Economic Perspectives (summer 2009): 21–36. View Details
  25. Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?

    This paper studies the adult online entertainment industry, particularly the consumption side of the market. In particular, it focuses on the demographics and consumption patterns of those who subscribe to adult entertainment websites. On the surface, this business would seem to face a number of obstacles. Regulatory and legal barriers have already been mentioned. In addition, those charging for access to adult entertainment face competition from similar content available without a fee. In the context of adult entertainment, free access offers consumers an extra benefit: online payments tend to create records documenting the fact of a customer's purchase; consumers of free content may feel more confident that their purchases will remain confidential. More broadly, measured levels of religiosity in America are high. On the other hand, social critics often argue that the rise of Internet pornography is contributing to a coarsening of American culture. Do consumption patterns of online adult entertainment reveal two separate Americas? Or is the consumption of online adult entertainment widespread, regardless of legal barriers, potential for embarrassment, and even religious conviction?

    Keywords: Online Technology; Segmentation; Film Entertainment; Demographics; Web Sites; Competition; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Demand and Consumers; Legal Liability; Culture; Religion; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 23, no. 1 (winter 2009): 209–220. View Details
  26. Running Out of Numbers: Scarcity of IP Addresses and What To Do About It

    The Internet's current numbering system is nearing exhaustion: Existing protocols allow only a finite set of computer numbers ("IP addresses"), and central authorities will soon deplete their supply. I evaluate a series of possible responses to this shortage: Sharing addresses impedes new Internet applications and does not seem to be scalable. A new numbering system ("IPv6") offers greater capacity, but network incentives impede transition. Paid transfers of IP addresses would better allocate resources to those who need them most, but unrestricted transfers might threaten the Internet's routing system. I suggest policies to create an IP address "market" while avoiding major negative externalities—mitigating the worst effects of v4 scarcity, while obtaining price discovery and allocative efficiency benefits of market transactions.

    Keywords: Internet; Performance Capacity; Technology Networks; Market Transactions; Resource Allocation; Policy; Price; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Running Out of Numbers: Scarcity of IP Addresses and What To Do About It." Auctions, Market Mechanisms and Their Applications 14 (2009): 95–106. (Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Science.) (Featured in Working Knowledge: When the Internet Runs Out of IP Addresses) (Circulated in 2008 as Running Out of Numbers? The Impending Scarcity of IP Addresses and What To Do About It.) View Details
  27. Towards a Bill of Rights for Online Advertisers

    Online advertising presents remarkable efficiencies—better targeting, improved measurement and greater return on investment. Yet there are challenges, particularly when networks of intermediaries place ads through convoluted relationships, and all the more so when small advertisers cannot effectively negotiate terms dictated by advertising powerhouses. The result is a troubling mess of ads gone wrong—advertisers charged in ways they didn't fairly agree to, and on terms they didn't meaningfully accept. But online advertising doesn't have to be a wild west. I propose five specific rights advertisers should demand as they buy online placements.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Rights; Measurement and Metrics; Investment Return; Negotiation; Networks; Problems and Challenges; Performance Efficiency; Law; Advertising Industry;

  28. Who Owns Metrics?: Building a Bill of Rights for Online Advertisers

    I offer five rights to protect advertisers from increasingly powerful ad networks-avoiding fraudulent charges for services not rendered, guaranteeing data portability so advertisers get the best possible value, and assuring price transparency so advertisers know what they're buying. I explain the need for these rights by presenting specific practices causing particular concern.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Crime and Corruption; Price; Measurement and Metrics; Technology Networks; Value; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Who Owns Metrics?: Building a Bill of Rights for Online Advertisers." Journal of Advertising Research 49, no. 4 (December 2009). (Adapted from Towards a Bill of Rights for Online Advertisers.) View Details
  29. Typosquatting: Unintended Adventures in Browsing

    "Typosquatting" is the practice of registering domain names, identical to or confusingly similar to trademarks and famous names, in hopes that users will accidentally request these sites—whereupon they will receive, typically, advertisements. This piece presents the basic typosquatting business model, based on my analysis of more than 80,000 typosquatting domain names. I analyze the advertising intermediaries that make typosquatting profitable, and I assess the legislation and litigation that are beginning to put a check on this practice.

    Keywords: Web; Advertising; Business Model; Lawsuits and Litigation; Profit; Practice;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Typosquatting: Unintended Adventures in Browsing." Cybercrime Gets Personal McAfee Security Journal (fall 2008): 34–37. View Details
  30. Greedy Bidding Strategies for Keyword Auctions

    How should players bid in keyword auctions such as those used by Google, Yahoo! and MSN? We consider greedy bidding strategies for a repeated auction on a single keyword, where in each round, each player chooses some optimal bid for the next round, assuming that the other players merely repeat their previous bid. We study the revenue, convergence and robustness properties of such strategies. Most interesting among these is a strategy we call the balanced bidding strategy (bb): it is known that bb has a unique fixed point with payments identical to those of the VCG mechanism. We show that if all players use the bb strategy and update each round, bb converges when the number of slots is at most 2, but does not always converge for 3 or more slots. On the other hand, we present a simple variant which is guaranteed to converge to the same fixed point for any number of slots. In a model in which only one randomly chosen player updates each round according to the bb strategy, we prove that convergence occurs with probability 1. We complement our theoretical results with empirical studies.

    Keywords: Auctions; Bids and Bidding; Strategy; Revenue; Search Technology;

    Citation:

    Cary, Matthew, Aparna Das, Benjamin Edelman, Ioannis Giotis, Kurtis Heimerl, Anna Karlin, Claire Mathieu, and Michael Schwarz. "Greedy Bidding Strategies for Keyword Auctions." Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Commerce (2007): 262–271. View Details
  31. Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords

    We investigate the "generalized second-price" auction (GSP), a new mechanism used by search engines to sell online advertising. Although GSP looks similar to the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) mechanism, its properties are very different. Unlike the VCG mechanism, GSP generally does not have an equilibrium in dominant strategies, and truth-telling is not an equilibrium of GSP. To analyze the properties of GSP, we describe the generalized English auction that corresponds to the GSP and show that it has a unique equilibrium. This is an ex post equilibrium, with the same payoffs to all players as the dominant strategy equilibrium of VCG.

    Keywords: Auctions; Search Technology; Online Advertising; Strategy; Balance and Stability;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, Michael Ostrovsky, and Michael Schwarz. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords." American Economic Review 97, no. 1 (March 2007): 242–259. (Winner of the 2013 Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science from the Game Theory Society for “the best paper at the interface of game theory and computer science in the last decade”.) View Details
  32. Strategic Bidder Behavior in Sponsored Search Auctions

    We examine sponsored search auctions run by Overture (now part of Yahoo!) and Google and present evidence of strategic bidder behavior in these auctions. Between June 15, 2002, and June 14, 2003, we estimate that Overture's revenue from sponsored search might have been higher if it had been able to prevent this strategic behavior. We present a specific alternative mechanism that could reduce the amount of strategizing by bidders, raise search engines' revenue, and also increase the overall efficiency of the market. We conclude by showing that advertisers' strategic behavior has not disappeared over time; rather, such behavior remains present on both search engines.

    Keywords: Auctions; Strategy; Behavior; Revenue; Performance Efficiency; Bids and Bidding; Search Technology;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Ostrovsky. "Strategic Bidder Behavior in Sponsored Search Auctions." Decision Support Systems 43, no. 1 (February 2007): 192–198. (Winner of Emerald Citations of Excellence.) View Details
  33. Internet Filtering in China

    The Chinese government has made few official statements about its filtering of Internet content, but this report explores the scope, depth, and various methods used to selectively bar Internet access through networks in China.

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government and Politics; Networks; Internet; China;

    Citation:

    Zittrain, Jonathan, and Benjamin Edelman. "Internet Filtering in China." IEEE Internet Computing 7, no. 2 (March/April 2003). View Details
  34. The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at Amazon.com

    A new dataset collected by the author allows estimation of the effect on book sales of promotional listing on Amazon's editorial discretion pages. Following Goolsbee and Chevalier (2001), sales quantities are inferred from sales rank data freely available on Amazon's web site, and an automated system tracks which books are promoted when, where, and how often. The results indicate that promotion of books on editorial discretion pages within Amazon's web site yields increases in sales, and more frequent promotion of a book is associated with larger increases in sales. Increases in sales are greatest for newly-released hardcover books; increases are larger for childrens' books, books in stock, and books more favorably priced at Amazon than at its foremost competitor, Barnes & Noble. Increases in sales are larger during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than before or after the holiday season, and promotion has a larger effect when editorial discretion pages feature only a few books than when they feature many. Finally, the average short-run effect of promotion on one of Amazon's editorial discretion pages is found to be roughly one third as large as the effect of an appearance in the New York Times Book Review, and the annual sum of Amazon's editorial discretion promotional activities shows a total short-run impact on sales roughly three fifths as large as the totality of annual Times book reviews.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Sales; Marketing Strategy; Web Sites; Competition; Books;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at Amazon.com." 2002. (Winner of Seymour E. and Ruth B. Harris Prize for outstanding senior honors thesis in economics. Winner of Thomas T. Hoopes Prize awarded for outstanding scholarly work or research.) View Details

Book Chapters

  1. The Design of Online Advertising Markets

    Because the market for online advertising is both new and fast-changing, participants experiment with all manner of variations. Should an advertiser's payment reflect the number of times an ad was shown, the number of times it was clicked, the number of sales that resulted, or the dollar value of those sales? Should ads be text, images, video, or something else entirely? Should measurement be performed by an ad network, an advertiser, or some intermediary? Market participants have chosen all these options at various points, and prevailing views have changed repeatedly. Online advertising therefore presents a natural environment in which to evaluate alternatives for these and other design choices. In this piece, I review the basics of online advertising, then turn to design decisions as to ad pricing, measurement, incentives, and fraud.

    Keywords: Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Price; Market Design; Measurement and Metrics; Sales; Motivation and Incentives; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "The Design of Online Advertising Markets." Chap. 15 in The Handbook of Market Design, edited by Nir Vulkan, Alvin E. Roth, and Zvika Neeman. Oxford University Press, 2013. View Details
  2. Securing Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West

    Read the news of recent computer security guffaws, and it's striking how many problems stem from online advertising. Advertising is the bedrock of web sites that are provided without charge to end users, so advertising is everywhere. But advertising security gaps are equally widespread: from "malvertisement" banner ads pushing rogue anti-spyware software, to click fraud, to spyware and adware, the security lapses of online advertising are striking.

    During the past five years, I have uncovered hundreds of online advertising scams defrauding thousands of users—not to mention all the web's top merchants. This chapter summarizes some of what I've found—and what users and advertisers can do to protect themselves.

    Keywords: Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Crime and Corruption; Ethics;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Securing Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West." In Beautiful Security, edited by John Viega. O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2009. (Korean translation.) View Details
  3. Assessing and Improving the Safety of Internet Search Engines

    Keywords: Internet; Search Technology; Performance Evaluation; Performance Improvement; Safety; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Assessing and Improving the Safety of Internet Search Engines." In The Power of Search Engines [Die Macht der Suchmaschinen], edited by Marcel Machill and Markus Beiler, 259–277. Köln, Germany: Herbert von Halem Verlag, 2007. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Leveraging Market Power through Tying and Bundling: Does Google Behave Anti-Competitively?

    I examine Google's pattern and practice of tying and bundling to leverage its dominance into new sectors under antitrust law principles. In particular, I show how Google used these tactics to enter numerous markets, to compel usage of its services, and often to dominate competing offerings. I explore the technical and commercial implementations of these practices, and I identify their effects on competition. I conclude that Google's tying and bundling tactics are suspect under antitrust law.

    Keywords: competition; antitrust; google; tying; bundling; Competitive Strategy; Competition; Law; Information Technology Industry; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Leveraging Market Power through Tying and Bundling: Does Google Behave Anti-Competitively?" Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-112, May 2014. View Details
  2. Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com

    Online marketplaces often contain information not only about products, but also about the people selling the products. In an effort to facilitate trust, many platforms encourage sellers to provide personal profiles and even to post pictures of themselves. However, these features may also facilitate discrimination based on sellers' race, gender, age, or other aspects of appearance. In this paper, we test for racial discrimination against landlords in the online rental marketplace Airbnb.com. Using a new data set combining pictures of all New York City landlords on Airbnb with their rental prices and information about quality of the rentals, we show that non-black hosts charge approximately 12% more than black hosts for the equivalent rental. These effects are robust when controlling for all information visible in the Airbnb marketplace. These findings highlight the prevalence of discrimination in online marketplaces, suggesting an important unintended consequence of a seemingly-routine mechanism for building trust.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Online Technology; Race Characteristics; Trust; Renting or Rental; Accommodations Industry; Real Estate Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G., and Michael Luca. "Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-054, January 2014. View Details
  3. Price Coherence and Adverse Intermediation

    Suppose an intermediary provides a benefit to buyers when they purchase from sellers using the intermediary's technology. We develop a model to show that the intermediary will want to restrict sellers from charging buyers more for transactions it intermediates. We show that this restriction can reduce consumer surplus and welfare, sometimes to such an extent that the existence of the intermediary can be harmful. Specifically, lower consumer surplus and welfare result from inflated retail prices, over-investment in providing benefits to buyers, and excessive adoption of the intermediaries' services. Competition among intermediaries intensifies these problems by increasing the magnitude of their effects and broadening the circumstances in which they arise. We show similar results arise when intermediaries provide matching benefits, namely recommendations of sellers to buy from. We discuss applications to travel reservation systems, payment card systems, marketplaces, rebate services, search engine advertising, and various types of brokers and agencies.

    Keywords: intermediaries; platforms; Two-Sided Markets; price coherence; Price; Two-Sided Platforms; Distribution Channels;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Julian Wright. "Price Coherence and Adverse Intermediation." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-052, December 2013. (Revised March 2014. Supplemental appendix.) View Details
  4. Exclusive Preferential Placement as Search Diversion: Evidence from Flight Search

    We analyze the incentives for a two-sided intermediary to divert consumers to its favored destinations. Applied to Internet search engines, we investigate a diversion mechanism based on Google's exclusive award of preferential placement to its own services. Using web traffic data from a quasi-experiment involving the introduction of Flight Search, a Google travel search service, we identify and measure the impact of diverting search away from non-paid algorithmic links to competing online travel agencies. Controlling for search intent, we find that Google's differential placement of Flight Search across similar search queries led to an 85% increase in click-through rates for paid advertising and a 65% decrease in click-through rates for non-paid algorithmic search links to competing online travel agencies. As search engines increase monetization of clicks by integrating specialized services into search results, our analysis suggests that exclusive preferential placement disproportionately impacts traffic to top sites most likely relevant to users' requests.

    Keywords: Fairness; Search Technology; Internet; Online Advertising; Travel Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Zhenyu Lai. "Exclusive Preferential Placement as Search Diversion: Evidence from Flight Search." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-087, April 2013. (data appendix.) View Details
  5. Competing Ad Auctions

    We present a two-stage model of competing ad auctions. Search engines attract users via Cournot-style competition. Meanwhile, each advertiser must pay a participation cost to use each ad platform, and advertiser entry strategies are derived using symmetric Bayes-Nash equilibrium that lead to the VCG outcome of the ad auctions. Consistent with our model of participation costs, we find empirical evidence that multi-homing advertisers are larger than single-homing advertisers. We then link our model to search engine market conditions: We derive comparative statics on consumer choice parameters, presenting relationships between market share, quality, and user welfare. We also analyze the prospect of joining auctions to mitigate participation costs, and we characterize when such joins do and do not increase welfare.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Auctions; Market Participation; Market Platforms; Mathematical Methods; Competition;

    Citation:

    Ashlagi, Itai, Benjamin Edelman, and Hoan Soo Lee. "Competing Ad Auctions." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-055, January 2010. (Revised May 2010, February 2011, September 2013.) View Details
  6. Social Comparisons and Deception Across Workplace Hierarchies: Field and Experimental Evidence

    We examine how unfavorable social comparisons differentially spur employees of varying hierarchical levels to engage in deception. Drawing on literatures in social psychology and workplace self-esteem, we theorize that negative comparisons with peers could cause either junior or senior employees to seek to improve reported relative performance measures via deception. In a first study, we use deceptive self-downloads on SSRN, the leading working paper repository in the social sciences, to show that employees higher in a hierarchy are more likely to engage in deception, particularly when the employee has enjoyed a high level of past success. In a second study, we confirm this finding in two scenario-based experiments. Our results suggest that longer-tenured and more successful employees face a greater loss of self-esteem from negative social comparisons and are more likely to engage in deception in response to reported performance that is lower than that of peers.

    Keywords: Ethics; Personal Development and Career; Behavior; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Ian Larkin. "Social Comparisons and Deception Across Workplace Hierarchies: Field and Experimental Evidence." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-096, February 2009. (Revised August 2013.) View Details
  7. CPC/CPA Hybrid Bidding in a Second Price Auction

    We develop a model of online advertising in which each advertiser chooses from multiple advertising measurement metrics—paying either for each click on its ads (CPC), or for each purchase that follows an ad-click (CPA). Our analysis extends classic auction results by allowing players to make bids using two different pricing schemes, while the driving information for bidders' endogenous selection—the conversion rate—is hidden from the seller. We show that the advertisers with the most productive sites prefer to pay CPC, while advertisers with lower quality sites prefer to pay CPA—a result that may be viewed as counterintuitive since low quality sites cannot proudly tout their conversion rates. This result holds even if an ad platform's assessment of site quality is correct in expectation. We also show that by offering both CPC and CPA, an ad platform can weakly increase its revenues compared to offering either alternative alone.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Auctions; Bids and Bidding; Measurement and Metrics; Quality; Mathematical Methods; Web Sites;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Hoan Lee. "CPC/CPA Hybrid Bidding in a Second Price Auction." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-074, December 2008. View Details
  8. On Best-Response Bidding in GSP Auctions

    How should players bid in keyword auctions such as those used by Google, Yahoo! and MSN? We model ad auctions as a dynamic game of incomplete information, so we can study the convergence and robustness properties of various strategies. In particular, we consider best-response bidding strategies for a repeated auction on a single keyword, where in each round, each player chooses some optimal bid for the next round, assuming that the other players merely repeat their previous bids. We focus on a strategy we call Balanced Bidding (BB). If all players use the BB strategy, we show that bids converge to a bid vector that obtains in a complete information static model proposed by Edelman, Ostrovsky, and Schwarz. We prove that convergence occurs with probability 1, and we compute the expected time until convergence.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Auctions; Bids and Bidding; Game Theory; Mathematical Methods; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cary, Matthew, Aparna Das, Benjamin Edelman, Ioannis Giotis, Kurtis Heimerl, Anna R. Karlin, Claire Mathieu, and Michael Schwarz. "On Best-Response Bidding in GSP Auctions." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 08-056, January 2008. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Ad Classification at Right Media

    Right Media considers systems and policies to make sure that ads are only shown on web sites where they are appropriate, and vice versa. Setting standards is particularly challenging given the large and growing marketplace, the numerous participants, their diverse requirements, and the dynamics of policy enforcement when market participants are competing intensely.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Market Participation; Standards; Web Sites;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Ad Classification at Right Media." Harvard Business School Case 909-032, December 2008. (Revised June 2009.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  2. Ad Classification at Right Media

    Teaching Note for [909032].

    Keywords: Advertising; Technology; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Ad Classification at Right Media." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 909-037, February 2009. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  3. Ad Classification at Right Media - slide supplement

    Right Media considers systems and policies to make sure that ads are only shown on web sites where they are appropriate, and vice versa. Setting standards is particularly challenging given the large and growing marketplace, the numerous participants, their diverse requirements, and the dynamics of policy enforcement when market participants are competing intensely.

    Keywords: Media; Online Advertising; Market Participation; Negotiation Tactics; Marketing Communications; Communication; Advertising Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Ad Classification at Right Media - slide supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 911-038, December 2010. View Details
  4. Ad Classification at Right Media — slide supplement (widescreen)

    Right Media considers systems and policies to make sure that ads are only shown on web sites where they are appropriate, and vice versa. Setting standards is particularly challenging given the large and growing marketplace, the numerous participants, their diverse requirements, and the dynamics of policy enforcement when market participants are competing intensely.

    Keywords: media; Online Advertising; Market Participation; Negotiation Tactics; Marketing communications; communication; Marketing Communications; Online Advertising; Standards;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Ad Classification at Right Media — slide supplement (widescreen)." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 914-054, June 2014. View Details
  5. Ad Classification at Right Media - pre-class slides - supplement

    Right Media considers systems and policies to make sure that ads are only shown on web sites where they are appropriate, and vice versa. Setting standards is particularly challenging given the large and growing marketplace, the numerous participants, their diverse requirements, and the dynamics of policy enforcement when market participants are competing intensely.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Market Participation; Negotiation Tactics; Marketing Communications; Communication; Media; Advertising Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Ad Classification at Right Media - pre-class slides - supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 911-037, December 2010. View Details
  6. Airbnb (A)

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Luca. "Airbnb (A)." Harvard Business School Case 912-019, December 2011. (Revised March 2012.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  7. Airbnb (B)

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Luca. "Airbnb (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 912-020, December 2011. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  8. Airbnb (A) and (B)

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Michael Luca. "Airbnb (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 912-021, December 2011. View Details
  9. Akamai Technologies

    As the leading content delivery network, Akamai helps Internet companies deliver Web site content to end users with fewer delays and lower costs. Describes the strategic management challenges facing Akamai in early 2004. The company is poised to offer its next generation of services for enterprise customers, which will allow them to run Internet-enabled applications ("Web services")—on demand, with minimal capital investment—from Akamai's network of 15,000 servers located in ISP facilities at the Internet's "edge"—close to end users. Many large enterprise software companies have developed proprietary platforms for creating and managing Web services. Akamai must decide which of these software companies would be attractive partners and whether it can and should remain uncommitted to a platform as it helps customers deploy Web services. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Market Platforms; Partners and Partnerships; Strategy; Internet; Technology Networks;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, Thomas R. Eisenmann, and Eric J. Van den Steen. "Akamai Technologies." Harvard Business School Case 804-158, March 2004. (Revised June 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  10. Attack of the Clones: Birchbox Defends Against Copycat Competitors

    Keywords: Competition; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Benjamin Edelman. "Attack of the Clones: Birchbox Defends Against Copycat Competitors." Harvard Business School Case 912-010, November 2011. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  11. Consumer Payment Systems - Japan

    In 2008, the Japanese consumer payments landscape featured ongoing widespread use of cash, limited use of credit cards and rapid rise of e-money systems based on contactless technology embedded in cards and especially mobile phones. The case details the alliances that created new products, as well as the regulations that sometimes stood in the way. Throughout, the case identifies incentives for both consumers and merchants, including direct costs, efficiency benefits, rebates, and treatment in case of loss or fraud.

    Keywords: Personal Finance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Two-Sided Platforms; Alliances; Competitive Strategy; Hardware; Mobile Technology; Japan;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Andrei Hagiu. "Consumer Payment Systems - Japan." Harvard Business School Case 909-007, August 2008. (Revised May 2009.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  12. Consumer Payment Systems - United States

    In 2008, the U.S. consumer payments landscape was characterized by the ongoing prevalence of credit and debit card networks, the decline of checks, the rise of stored value cards, and the growth of new payment methods such as PayPal, Bill Me Later, and decoupled debit. This case presents the structure of these payment methods, focusing on incentives for both consumers and merchants, including direct costs, efficiency benefits, rebates, and treatment in case of loss or fraud.

    Keywords: Borrowing and Debt; Financial Management; Personal Finance; Market Platforms; Motivation and Incentives; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; United States;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Andrei Hagiu. "Consumer Payment Systems - United States." Harvard Business School Case 909-006, August 2008. (Revised July 2011.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  13. Consumer Payment Systems - United States and Japan

    Teaching Note for [909006] and [909007].

    Keywords: Cash; Cost; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Efficiency; Technology; Alliances; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; United States; Japan;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Andrei Hagiu. "Consumer Payment Systems - United States and Japan." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 909-039, January 2009. View Details
  14. Distribution at American Airlines (A)

    American Airlines sought to reduce the fees it pays to global distribution services (GDSs)—such as SABRE—to reach travel agents. But GDSs held significant tactical advantages. For example, GDSs had signed long-term exclusive contracts with the corporate customers who were American's best customers. Furthermore, travel agents tended to favor whichever GDS offered the highest commissions—impeding price competition among GDSs. Against this backdrop, American considered how best to cut its GDS costs.

    Keywords: Price; Globalized Firms and Management; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Distribution; Service Operations; Competition; Air Transportation Industry; Travel Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines (A)." Harvard Business School Case 909-035, January 2009. (Revised June 2009.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  15. Distribution at American Airlines (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Distribution; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 909-036, January 2009. (Revised June 2009.) View Details
  16. Distribution at American Airlines (C)

    Presents 2011-2012 updates to American's distribution strategy including new challenges and disputes.

    Keywords: Strategy; Distribution; Air Transportation; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 913-034, March 2013. (Revised May 2013.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  17. Distribution at American Airlines (D)

    Supplements the (C) case

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines (D)." Harvard Business School Supplement 913-035, March 2013. View Details
  18. Distribution at American Airlines (A)—(D)

    Teaching Note for [909035], [909036], [913034], and [913035].

    Keywords: Distribution; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines (A)—(D)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 909-059, April 2009. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  19. Distribution at American Airlines – slide supplement

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Distribution at American Airlines – slide supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 914-039, June 2014. View Details
  20. eBay Partner Network (A)

    eBay considers adjustments to the structure and rules of its affiliate marketing program, eBay Partner Network (ePN). In particular, eBay reevaluates affiliate compensation structure, the role of bonuses for especially productive affiliates, and the overall rationale for outsourcing online marketing efforts to independent affiliates. The case presents the history and development of ePN, ePN's importance to eBay, and the mechanics of online affiliate marketing.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Marketing Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Motivation and Incentives; Online Technology; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Ian Larkin. "eBay Partner Network (A)." Harvard Business School Case 910-008, September 2009. (Revised August 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  21. eBay Partner Network (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Web; Networks;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Ian Larkin. "eBay Partner Network (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 910-009, September 2009. (Revised August 2010.) View Details
  22. eBay Partner Network (C)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Web; Networks;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Ian Larkin. "eBay Partner Network (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 910-012, September 2009. (Revised August 2010.) View Details
  23. eBay Partner Network (D)

    Supplements the (A) case

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "eBay Partner Network (D)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914-016, December 2013. View Details
  24. eBay Partner Network (A), (B), (C), and (D)

    Teaching Note for [910008], [910009], [910012], and [914016].

    Keywords: Online Technology; Web; Networks; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Ian Larkin. "eBay Partner Network (A), (B), (C), and (D)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 910-025, January 2010. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  25. eBay Partner Network - slide supplement

    eBay considers adjustments to the structure and rules of its affiliate marketing program, eBay Partner Network (ePN). In particular, eBay reevaluates affiliate compensation structure, the role of bonuses for especially productive affiliates, and the overall rationale for outsourcing online marketing efforts to independent affiliates. The case presents the history and development of ePN, ePN's importance to eBay, and the mechanics of online affiliate marketing.

    Keywords: History; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Online Technology; Markets; Marketing Channels; Negotiation Participants; Marketing; Compensation and Benefits; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "eBay Partner Network - slide supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 911-039, December 2010. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  26. eBay Partner Network - slide supplement (widescreen)

    eBay considers adjustments to the structure and rules of its affiliate marketing program, eBay Partner Network (ePN). In particular, eBay reevaluates affiliate compensation structure, the role of bonuses for especially productive affiliates, and the overall rationale for outsourcing online marketing efforts to independent affiliates. The case presents the history and development of ePN, ePN's importance to eBay, and the mechanics of online affiliate marketing.

    Keywords: history; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Online Technology; markets; Marketing channels; Negotiation Participants; marketing; Compensation and benefits; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Online Technology; Marketing Channels; Business Processes; Change; Compensation and Benefits; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "eBay Partner Network - slide supplement (widescreen)." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 914-040, June 2014. View Details
  27. Google Inc.

    Describes Google's history, business model, governance structure, corporate culture, and processes for managing innovation. Reviews Google's recent strategic initiatives and the threats they pose to Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. Asks what Google should do next. One option is to stay focused on the company's core competence, i.e., developing superior search solutions and monetizing them through targeted advertising. Another option is to branch into new arenas, for example, build Google into a portal like Yahoo or MSN; extend Google's role in e-commerce beyond search, to encompass a more active role as an intermediary (like eBay) facilitating transactions; or challenge Microsoft's position on the PC desktop by developing software to compete with Office and Windows.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Network Effects; Mission and Purpose; Expansion; Search Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc." Harvard Business School Case 910-036, January 2010. (Revised April 2011.) (Winner of ECCH 2011 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method - Strategy and General Management.) View Details
  28. Google Inc. (Abridged)

    Describes Google's history, business model, governance structure, corporate culture, and processes for managing innovation. Reviews Google's recent strategic initiatives and the threats it poses to Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. Asks what Google should do next. One option is to stay focused on the company's core competence, i.e., developing superior search solutions and monetizing them through targeted advertising. Another option is to branch into new arenas, for example, build Google into a portal like Yahoo or MSN; extend Google's role in e-commerce beyond search to encompass a more active role as an intermediary (like eBay) facilitating transactions; or challenge Microsoft's position on the PC desktop by developing software to compete with Office and Windows.

    Keywords: Business Model; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Governance; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Competitive Strategy; Search Technology; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 910-032, February 2010. (Revised December 2010.) View Details
  29. Google Inc. and Google Inc. (Abridged)

    Teaching Note for [910032] and [910036].

    Keywords: Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc. and Google Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 910-050, June 2010. View Details
  30. The iPhone at IVK

    Teaching Note for 911-413.

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "The iPhone at IVK." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 911-414, October 2010. View Details
  31. The Market Power of Platform-Mediated Networks

    This note provides criteria to evaluate the power of a platform-mediated network. For a company considering building such a network or an investor considering funding such an effort, this analysis reveals the scope and desirability of the opportunity. Meanwhile, for a company doing business with such a network, as a supplier or as a customer, this note provides strategies to shift the split of surplus to the company's benefit.

    Keywords: intermediaries; platforms; networks; platform strategy; Business Model; Agreements and Arrangements; Distribution Channels; Networks; Technology Platform; Telecommunications Industry; Travel Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "The Market Power of Platform-Mediated Networks." Harvard Business School Technical Note 914-029, January 2014. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  32. Microsoft adCenter

    Teaching Note for [908049].

    Keywords: Technology; Advertising; Software; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Benjamin Edelman. "Microsoft adCenter." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 908-062, April 2008. (Revised February 2010.) View Details
  33. Microsoft adCenter

    Microsoft considers alternatives to expand its presence in online advertising, especially text-based pay-per-click advertising. Google dominates, and it is unclear how Microsoft can grow, despite considerable technical and financial resources. Microsoft considers a set of alternatives, each with clear benefits but also serious challenges.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Growth and Development Strategy; Competition; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter, and Benjamin Edelman. "Microsoft adCenter." Harvard Business School Case 908-049, January 2008. (Revised February 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  34. Mobilizing an Online Business

    Entrepreneurs starting online businesses often need to mobilize multiple sets of users or customers, each of whom hesitates to participate unless others join also. This case presents several challenges with similar structure.

    Keywords: mobilization strategy; Network Effects; platforms; internet; entrepreneurship; strategy; Two-Sided Platforms; Technology Adoption; Innovation Strategy; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter, and Benjamin Edelman. "Mobilizing an Online Business." Harvard Business School Background Note 913-061, June 2013. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  35. Mobilizing an Online Business

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Mobilizing an Online Business." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 913-062, June 2013. View Details
  36. Mobilizing an Online Business - slide supplement

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Mobilizing an Online Business - slide supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 913-702, June 2013. View Details
  37. Mobilizing an Online Business — slide supplement (widescreen)

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Mobilizing an Online Business — slide supplement (widescreen)." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 914-053, June 2014. View Details
  38. Mobilizing Networked Businesses

    This module note presents six strategies for mobilizing networked businesses.

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Plan; Entrepreneurship; Networks; Internet;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Benjamin Edelman. "Mobilizing Networked Businesses." Harvard Business School Module Note 911-048, March 2011. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  39. The Online Economy: Strategy and Entrepreneurship - Course Architecture Note

    This note provides an overview of the Harvard Business School course "The Online Economy: Strategy and Entrepreneurship." It covers the framework for the course, key principles within each course module, and a synopsis of each case, along with the lessons the case is meant to convey.

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Plan; Business Education; Curriculum and Courses; Entrepreneurship; Business Strategy; Information Technology; Internet; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Benjamin Edelman. "The Online Economy: Strategy and Entrepreneurship - Course Architecture Note." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 911-069, April 2011. (Revised May 2012.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  40. Online Marketing at Big Skinny

    Describes a wallet maker's application of seven Internet marketing technologies: display ads, algorithmic search, sponsored search, social media, interactive content, online distributors, and A/B testing. Provides concise introductions to the key features of each technology, and asks which forms of online marketing the company should prioritize in the future. Discusses similarities and differences between online and off-line marketing, as well as issues of marketing campaign evaluation.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Online Advertising; Resource Allocation; Marketing Strategy; Performance Evaluation; Internet; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Scott Duke Kominers. "Online Marketing at Big Skinny." Harvard Business School Case 911-033, February 2011. (Revised February 2012.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  41. Online Marketing at Big Skinny

    Teaching Note for 911033.

    Keywords: Marketing; Online Advertising;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Scott Kominers. "Online Marketing at Big Skinny." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 911-034, February 2011. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  42. Online Marketing at Big Skinny – Slide Supplement

    Slide Supplement for 911-034

    Keywords: Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Scott Duke Kominers. "Online Marketing at Big Skinny – Slide Supplement." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 912-006, October 2011. View Details
  43. Online Restaurant Promotions

    A variety of services offer consumers benefits for dining at participating restaurants. This case examines four such services: Entertainment Book, Restaurant.com, Rewards Network, and OpenTable. Despite key functional similarities, each of the services chooses an importantly different approach—different pricing, different benefits to consumers, different benefits to restaurants, and different underlying technologies.

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy; Two-Sided Platforms; Service Delivery; Service Operations; Internet; Food and Beverage Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Online Restaurant Promotions." Harvard Business School Case 909-034, January 2009. (Revised October 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  44. Online Restaurant Promotions

    Teaching Note for [909034].

    Keywords: Service Operations; Customer Satisfaction; Entertainment; Networks; Price; Corporate Strategy; Technology; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Online Restaurant Promotions." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 909-063, June 2009. View Details
  45. Opening Dot EU (A)

    EURid considers possible market mechanisms to allocate initial domain names within the Internet's newly-created "dot EU." European Union regulations and community norms substantially constrain EURid's approach, preventing the use of the most natural economic mechanisms (such as auctions).

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Resource Allocation; Auctions; Internet; Information Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Opening Dot EU (A)." Harvard Business School Case 908-052, March 2008. (Revised April 2008.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  46. Opening Dot EU (B)

    EURid considers possible market mechanisms to allocate initial domain names within the Internet's newly-created "dot EU." European Union regulations and community norms substantially constrain EURid's approach, preventing the use of the most natural economic mechanisms (such as auctions).

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Internet; Resource Allocation; Auctions; Information Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Opening Dot EU (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 908-053, March 2008. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  47. Personal Rapid Transport at Vectus, Ltd.

    Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) vehicles—often called "driverless taxis"—sought to combine the best characteristics of cars, taxis, and trains, while adding features unavailable in any existing transportation system. Like cars and taxis, PRT vehicles carried small groups—often just a single passenger—with no need to wait for a shared vehicle to arrive or for others to board. Yet PRT followed train systems in using an exclusive right of way that avoided delays from other traffic. Where would such systems be most useful? Could system designers successfully compete with well-established networks of trains, buses, cars, and roads?

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Network Effects; Competitive Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Transportation Networks; Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Personal Rapid Transport at Vectus, Ltd." Harvard Business School Case 910-010, November 2009. (Revised September 2010.) (Featured in Working Knowledge: Can Entrepreneurs Drive People Movers to Success?) (courtesy copy.) View Details
  48. Personal Rapid Transport at Vectus, Ltd.

    Teaching Note for [910010].

    Keywords: Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Personal Rapid Transport at Vectus, Ltd." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 910-024, January 2010. (Revised February 2010.) View Details
  49. Pricing and Partnership at Zillow, Inc.

    As Zillow's real estate search service gains user adoption, some real estate professionals question Zillow's policies, fees, and power. Dissatisfied real estate professionals could remove listings from Zillow, reducing the service's value to users. Should Zillow adjust its approach in order to address complaints?

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Multi-Sided Platforms; Property; United States;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter, and Benjamin Edelman. "Pricing and Partnership at Zillow, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 913-021, November 2012. (Revised November 2012.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  50. Pricing and Partnership at Zillow, Inc.

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Pricing and Partnership at Zillow, Inc." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914-043, April 2014. View Details
  51. SaferTaxi: Connecting Taxis and Passengers in South America

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter, and Benjamin Edelman. "SaferTaxi: Connecting Taxis and Passengers in South America." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 913-063, June 2013. View Details
  52. SaferTaxi: Connecting Taxis and Passengers in South America

    SaferTaxi, a taxi booking service in South America must develop its mobilization strategy; that is, it must attract enough passengers and drivers to make its service worthwhile for all. Drivers hesitate to pay for SaferTaxi's smartphones and service unless these will deliver passenger bookings—and passengers have no reason to sign up unless drivers are available. Meanwhile, regulators question the permissibility of online taxi booking in light of regulatory requirements, and some existing taxi booking vendors feel threatened by SaferTaxi's efforts to enter the market. As SaferTaxi attempts to satisfy these diverse constituents, international competition looms. What should SaferTaxi's founders do next?

    Keywords: taxi booking; smartphone; Transportation Networks; Network Effects; Laws and Statutes; South America; Argentina; Brazil; Chile;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter, and Benjamin Edelman. "SaferTaxi: Connecting Taxis and Passengers in South America." Harvard Business School Case 913-041, April 2013. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  53. Symbian, Google & Apple in the Mobile Space (A)

    Symbian, maker of a leading mobile smartphone operating system, faces new competition from Google and Apple. Symbian evaluates changes to its software and its relationships with distributors in order to meet these competitors.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Distribution; Competitive Strategy; Mobile Technology; Software;

    Citation:

    Suarez, Fernando, Benjamin Edelman, and Arati Srinivasan. "Symbian, Google & Apple in the Mobile Space (A)." Harvard Business School Case 909-055, April 2009. (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  54. Symbian, Google & Apple in the Mobile Space (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Network Effects; Networks; Strategy; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Suarez, Fernando, Benjamin Edelman, and Arati Srinivasan. "Symbian, Google & Apple in the Mobile Space (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 909-056, April 2009. View Details
  55. TheLadders

    Despite strong appeal among job seekers and outside recruiters, TheLadders' corporate job listings seem to lag. Could raising prices help solve the problem? TheLadders considers this strategic paradox.

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Price; Recruitment; Job Search; Marketing Strategy; Employment Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., Benjamin Edelman, Brian J. Hall, and Nicole Bennett. "TheLadders." Harvard Business School Case 908-061, April 2008. (Revised April 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details
  56. TheLadders (B)

    Supplements the A case

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "TheLadders (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914-017, October 2013. View Details
  57. TheLadders

    Teaching Note for [908061].

    Keywords: Job Search; Web; Employment Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Benjamin Edelman. "TheLadders." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 909-005, July 2008. (Revised June 2009.) View Details
  58. Windows Vista

    Microsoft designs, modifies, publicizes, and distributes Windows Vista—against a backdrop of consumers already largely satisfied with their existing Windows XP systems. Microsoft must decide what features to include and what to drop, how to compete with its own installed base, and how to mobilize partners to offer Vista-compatible systems.

    Keywords: Product Launch; Demand and Consumers; Partners and Partnerships; Competition; Software; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Windows Vista." Harvard Business School Case 909-038, February 2009. (Revised December 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.) View Details

Testimony and Regulatory Submissions

  1. Objections to Tentative Decision and Order to Show Cause (IATA 787)

    I critique Order 2014-5-7 (Docket No. DOT-OST-2013-0048-0415) to the extent that the DOT permits, or purports to permit, airlines to sell tickets other than in accordance with published tariffs. I argue that tariffs provide important benefits to passengers and should be continued notwithstanding the proposed IATA Resolution 787.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Sales; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G. "Objections to Tentative Decision and Order to Show Cause (IATA 787)." June 2014. (Before the Department of Transportation.) View Details
  2. Comments on Commitments in AT.39740 - Google

    I evaluate the remedies in Google's proposed Commitments, and I propose additional remedies to more fully address the Commission's concerns.

    Keywords: competition; regulation; google; bias; deterrence; Law; Internet; Search Technology; Technology Networks; European Union;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Comments on Commitments in AT.39740 - Google." May 2013. (Comments to European Commission - DG Comp.) View Details
  3. Comments on Commitments in AT.39740 - Google

    We evaluate Google's proposed Commitments in light of our research on the effects of Google Flight Search on traffic to competing online travel agencies.

    Keywords: competition; regulation; google; bias; Law; Internet; Search Technology; Technology Networks; European Union;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Zhenyu Lai. "Comments on Commitments in AT.39740 - Google." May 2013. (Comments to European Commission - DG Comp.) View Details
  4. Towards Efficiencies in Canadian Internet Traffic Exchange

    Canadian Internet access is heavily and unnecessarily dependent upon foreign infrastructure, especially U.S. infrastructure. This dependence imposes significant burdens upon Canadian Internet users: * Service prices are higher than would be the case if Canadian networks more densely interconnected domestically. * Network speed is slower than would be the case if Canadian networks more densely interconnected domestically. * When data en route from one Canadian network to another passes through other countries, the data is subject to examination by companies and government authorities in those countries. Canadian data-protection laws are understood not to protect data as it passes through other countries. Despite these challenges, experience in other countries shows a clear way forward. By establishing more Internet exchange points (IXPs) within Canada, Canada can reduce the portion of network traffic that travels from one point in Canada, through the United States or other nations, and back to another point in Canada. The key benefits: * By reducing reliance on costly international data transit, additional IXPs will reduce networks’ ongoing operational costs. These cost savings will flow to Canadian Internet users, and unnecessary export of capital will be reduced. * By providing high-speed domestic links, additional IXPs will increase the amount of bandwidth available to Canadian users, mitigating networks' bandwidth shortages and removing networks' incentives to impose bandwidth throttling and usage caps. * By favoring shorter and more direct routes, additional IXPs will reduce network latency, improving the performance of new services like video and cloud-based applications. * By allowing Canadian data to remain in Canada as much as possible and as often as possible, additional IXPs will reduce the risk of Canadian data becoming subject to foreign laws and practices. * By increasing the richness and density of connections between Canadian networks, additional IXPs will increase the reliability of Internet access in Canada and its resilience to disaster and attack.

    Keywords: internet; networks; Canada; privacy; Communication Technology; Technology Networks; Internet; Telecommunications Industry; Canada;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin G., and Bill Woodcock. "Towards Efficiencies in Canadian Internet Traffic Exchange." Canadian Internet Registration Authority, September 2012. View Details
  5. Towards Improvement in Singapore's Transportation Efficiency and Environmental Impact

    I evaluate the suitability of Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) for transportation problems in Singapore, and I propose short-term and long-term applications.

    Keywords: Performance Efficiency; Performance Improvement; Environmental Sustainability; Transportation; Transportation Industry; Singapore;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Towards Improvement in Singapore's Transportation Efficiency and Environmental Impact." October 2011. (Submission to the National Climate Change Secretariat of Singapore.) View Details
  6. Deception in Post-Transaction Marketing Offers

    Keywords: Ethics; Crime and Corruption; Market Transactions;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Deception in Post-Transaction Marketing Offers." U.S. Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, November 2009. View Details
  7. Competition among Sponsored Search Services

    Keywords: Search Technology; Competition; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Competition among Sponsored Search Services." U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Task Force on Competition Policy and Antitrust Laws, 2008. (Hearing cancelled.) (Reprinted in Working Knowledge: Google-Yahoo Ad Deal is Bad for Online Advertising.) View Details
  8. Spyware and Adware

    Keywords: Software;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin. "Spyware and Adware." Government Testimony Series, 2008. View Details

    Research Summary

  1. Projects in Process

    Intermediaries and Accountability in Internet Advertising

    Fraud Prevention in Internet Advertising Markets

    Competition in Search and Search Advertising

    Gaming and Incentives from Steeply-Tiered Affiliate Commission Schedules

    The Market for Internet Routing and Addressing: Scarcity of IPv4 and Transition to IPv6

    Assessing Personal Rapid Transport

      Awards & Honors

    1. Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science : Winner of the 2013 Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science from the Game Theory Society for “the best paper at the interface of game theory and computer science in the last decade” for his paper with Michael Ostrovsky and Michael Schwarz, “Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords” (American Economic Review, March 2007).

    2. Emerald Management Reviews. Citation of Excellence: Received a 2011 Emerald Management Review Citation of Excellence Award for his paper with Michael Ostrovsky, “Strategic Bidder Behavior in Sponsored Search Auctions” (Decision Support Systems, 2007). The award honors the 50 best articles published by the world’s top 300 management journals.

    3. European Case Clearing House (ecch) Award in the Strategy and General Management category: Won a 2011 European Case Clearing House (ecch) Award in the Strategy and General Management category for his case with Thomas R. Eisenmann, “Google Inc.” (HBS Case 910-036).

    4. Seymour E. and Ruth B. Harris Prize: Winner of the Seymour E. and Ruth B. Harris Prize in 2002 for "The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at Amazon.com" (2002).

    5. Thomas T. Hoopes Prize: Winner of the 2002 Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for Undergraduate Research for "The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at Amazon.com" (2002).