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Definition[]

Intermediation is

the process by which a firm, acting as the agent of an individual or another firm, leverages its middleman position to foster communication with other agents in the marketplace that will lead to transactions and exchanges that create economic and/or social value.[1]

Overview[]

The main functions of Internet intermediaries are i) to provide infrastructure; ii) to collect, organize and evaluate dispersed information; iii) to facilitate social communication and information exchange; iv) to aggregate supply and demand; v) to facilitate market processes; vi) to provide trust; and vii) to take into account the needs of both buyers/users and sellers/advertisers. There is sometimes tension between various functions of Internet intermediaries; for example, tension between preserving identity and privacy while personalizing products and services in ways that benefit users or between infrastructure provision and usage.[2]

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