Electronic marketplaces (EMPs) are independently owned, IT-enabled intermediaries that connect many buying organizations with many selling organizations. EMPs have long been of interest because of their potential to increase market efficiency and to lower product prices. Central in many theoretical explanations of how such outcomes could come about is the concept of price transparency, which is defined as "the degree to which market participants know the prevailing prices and characteristics or attributes of goods or services on offer" . The theoretical argument is that, for some product types (e.g., easy to describe commodities) and for some market structures (e.g., many buyers and sellers), the emergence of electronic intermediaries should lead to increased price transparency and lower product prices.
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