Disintermediation in Two-Sided Marketplaces (teaching materials) with Philip Hu

Edelman, Benjamin, and Philip Hu. “Disintermediation in Two-Sided Marketplaces.” Harvard Business School Technical Note 917-004, June 2016. (Revised March 2017.) (educator access at HBP. request a courtesy copy.)

Two-sided marketplaces often risk disintermediation: users may rely on the marketplace to find each other but then perform related future transactions—or even the current transaction—without the platform’s involvement and without paying any fees the platform may charge. This technical note assesses which marketplaces are most vulnerable to disintermediation and offers a set of strategies marketplaces can implement in order to reduce their vulnerability.