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On Regulation and Competition: Pros and Cons of a Diversified Monopolist

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Author Info

  • Carlo Scarpa

    (University of Brescia)

  • Giacomo Calzolari

    (University of Bologna)

Abstract

We study the regulation of a firm which supplies a regulated service while also operating in a competitive, unregulated sector. If the firm conducts its activities in the two markets jointly, it enjoys economies of scope whose size is the firm’s private information, unknown either to the regulator or to the rival firms. We characterize the unregulated market outcome (with price and quantity competition) and optimal regulation that involves an informational externality to the competitors. Although joint conduct of the activities generates scope economies, it also entails private information, so that regulation is less efficient and the unregulated market too may be adversely affected. Nevertheless, we show that allowing the firm to integrate productions is (socially) desirable, unless joint production is characterized by dis-economies of scope.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.55.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.55

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Related research

Keywords: Regulation; Competition; Asymmetric Information; Conglomerate Firms; Multiutility; Scope Economies; Informational Externality;

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References

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  1. Brennan, Timothy J, 1990. "Cross-Subsidization and Cost Misallocation by Regulated Monopolists," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 37-51, March.
  2. Calzolari, Giacomo, 2001. "The Theory and Practice of Regulation with Multinational Enterprises," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 191-211, September.
  3. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1990. " Game Theoretic Models of Mixed Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17.
  4. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, December.
  5. Calzolari, Giacomo & Scarpa, Carlo, 2007. "Footloose Monopolies: Regulating a "National Champion"," CEPR Discussion Papers 6413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
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  9. Brennan, Timothy J & Palmer, Karen, 1994. "Comparing the Costs and Benefits of Diversification by Regulated Firms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 115-36, May.
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  12. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1989. "An Informational Effect When Regulated Firms Enter Unregulated Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 35-45, March.
  13. Calzolari, Giacomo & Pavan, Alessandro, 2006. "On the optimality of privacy in sequential contracting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 168-204, September.
  14. Berry, S Keith, 2000. "Excess Returns in Electric Utility Mergers during Transition to Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 175-88, September.
  15. Iossa, Elisabetta, 1999. "Informative Externalities and Pricing in Regulated Multiproduct Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 195-219, June.
  16. Sappington, David E. M., 2003. "Regulating horizontal diversification," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-315, March.
  17. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
  18. Vickers, John, 1995. "Competition and Regulation in Vertically Related Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-17, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Stroffolini, Francesca, 2012. "Access profit-sharing regulation with information acquisition and transmission," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 161-174.

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