Auction mechanisms for demand-side intermediaries in online advertising exchanges

Lampros C. Stavrogiannis, Enrico H. Gerding, Maria Polukarov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Motivated by the online advertising exchange marketplace where demand-side intermediaries conduct local upstream auctions and participate in the exchanges? real-time auctions, we study the revenue and efficiency effects of three different auction mechanisms for such intermediaries. Specifically, we consider the widely-used first-price sealed-bid auction and two variations of the Vickrey auction (termed pre- and post-award), in a single-exchange single item setting. We show that, for a homogeneous population of intermediaries with captive buyers competing at the exchange, the three mechanisms yield different expected profits for the intermediaries and revenue for the exchange, but a complete ranking for all mechanisms cannot be attained. We also demonstrate that the optimal reserve price of the exchange increases with the number of buyers and/or intermediaries, and that the social welfare decreases, compared to classical auctions without intermediaries. Moreover, we show that pre-award Vickrey auctions are less efficient than the other mechanisms. Finally, we compare the two Vickrey variations in a duopoly setting with non-captive buyers, and show that all buyers always select the post-award mechanism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 international conference on Autonomous agents and multi-agent systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • ad auction, intermediary, auction design, competition


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