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Broadband Openness Rules Are Fully Justified by Economic Research

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Author Info

  • Nicholas ECONOMIDES

    (New York University's Stern Business School, and NET Institute)

Abstract

This paper is an outgrowth of the filings in the FCC's broadband openness proceeding that focused on the issue of networks neutrality. Newly available data confirm that competition in the broadband access marketplace is limited. Wireless broadband access services are unlikely to act as effective economic substitutes for wireline broadband access services and instead are likely to act as a complement. Nor will competition in the Internet backbone marketplace constrain "last mile" broadband access providers. The last mile's concentrated market structure, combined with high switching costs, provides these providers with the ability to engage in practices that will reduce social welfare in the absence of open broadband rules. Allowing broadband providers to charge third party content providers will not necessarily result in lower prices being charged to residential Internet subscribers. The effect of open broadband rules on broadband provider revenues is likely to be small and can be either positive or negative. Price discrimination by broadband providers against third party applications and content providers will reduce societal welfare for numerous reasons. This reduction in societal welfare is especially acute when price discrimination is taken to the extreme of exclusive dealing imposed on content providers. Antitrust and consumer protection laws are insufficient to protect societal welfare in the absence of open broadband rules.

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File URL: http://repec.idate.fr/RePEc/idt/journl/CS8407/CS84_ECONOMIDES.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by IDATE, Com&Strat dept. in its journal Communications & Strategies.

Volume (Year): 1 (2011)
Issue (Month): 84 (4th quarter)
Pages: 127-151

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Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8407

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Related research

Keywords: Network neutrality; Internet; two-sided market; discrimination; prioritization; market power; broadband; access pricing; AT&T; Verizon; Google;

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  1. Nicholas Economides & Lawrence J. White, 1995. "Access and Interconnection Pricing: How Efficient is the Efficient Component Pricing Rule?," Working Papers 95-04, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Shane Greenstein & Ryan C. McDevitt, 2009. "The Broadband Bonus: Accounting for Broadband Internet's Impact on U.S. GDP," NBER Working Papers 14758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bester, Helmut & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 1996. "Coupons and oligopolistic price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-242.
  4. Krattenmaker, Thomas G & Salop, Steven C, 1986. "Competition and Cooperation in the Market for Exclusionary Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 109-13, May.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  6. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
  7. Hermalin, Benjamin E. & Katz, Michael, 2007. "The Economics of Product-Line Restrictions With an Application to the Network Neutrality Debate," Working paper 541, Regulation2point0.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Jay Pil Choi & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2010. "Net neutrality and investment incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 446-471.
  10. Robin S. Lee & Tim Wu, 2009. "Subsidizing Creativity through Network Design: Zero-Pricing and Net Neutrality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 61-76, Summer.
  11. Schwartz, Marius, 1990. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Output: Generalizing a Welfare Result," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1259-62, December.
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