Global service markets, which efficiently coordinate the supply of services with the demand, are a cornerstone for the breakthrough of service-oriented computing (SOC). With the increasing popularity of SOC, forecasts hence predicted that service marketplaces would rapidly evolve and work profitable. Despite such promising prospects, only a few marketplaces were able to establish themselves until now, however. Trying to explain this situation, we analyzed leading service marketplaces like Salesforce’s AppExchange or Google’s Apps Marketplace from an economic perspective. Based on the theory of perfect markets with perfect competition, we describe several characteristics of service markets that cause market deficiencies. To adapt to the special characteristics of service markets, agents have to adjust their business strategies accordingly. While current literature primarily focuses on providing strategies for providers and consumers, marketplace operators as essential intermedi-aries are barely considered. We therefore derive desirable market features that can be integrated into the business strategies of marketplace operators and summarize them in a conceptual architecture of a model service marketplace. As a validation, we conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with SOC experts, who corroborated most of our findings and attested their practical relevance.