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Customer or Complementor? Intercarrier Compensation with Two‐Sided Benefits


  • Benjamin E. Hermalin
  • Michael L. Katz


Both senders and receivers of telecommunications messages derive benefits, creating the possibility of externalities. We explore whether intercarrier compensation (i.e., access charges) can induce carriers to internalize these external effects. In important settings, access charges are irrelevant. Where they are relevant, access charges can induce an efficient ratio of off-net send and receive prices--taking their sum as given--but cannot induce the correct sum. The latter requires a mechanism for cross-carrier internalization, such as repeat play or pricing policies contingent on one another. Lastly, non-zero access charges can be efficient even in highly symmetrical situations.
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  • Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael L. Katz, 2011. "Customer or Complementor? Intercarrier Compensation with Two‐Sided Benefits," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 379-408, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:20:y:2011:i:2:p:379-408

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Berger Ulrich, 2005. "Access Charges in the Presence of Call Externalities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Sobolewski, Maciej, 2016. "Estimating call externalities in mobile telephony," 27th European Regional ITS Conference, Cambridge (UK) 2016 148706, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Maciej Sobolewski, 2016. "Strategic use of external benefits for entry deterrence: the case of a mobile telephony market," Working Papers 2016-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    3. Hoernig, Steffen, 2012. "The Breakdown of Connectivity Breakdowns," CEPR Discussion Papers 9189, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jonathan Sandbach & Luke van Hooft, 2010. "Using On-net / Off-net Price Differential to Measure the Size of Call Externalities and its Implications for Setting Efficient Mobile Termination Rates," Chapters,in: Promoting New Telecom Infrastructures, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Sjaak Hurkens & Angel L. Lopez, 2014. "Who should pay for two-way interconnection?," Working Papers 774, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Steffen Hoernig & Marc Bourreau & Carlo Cambini, 2014. "Fixed-mobile integration," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 57-74, February.
    7. Steffen Hoernig & Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2014. "Calling circles: network competition with nonuniform calling patterns," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(1), pages 155-175, March.
    8. Harbord, David & Hoernig, Steffen, 2010. "Welfare Analysis of Regulating Mobile Termination Rates in the UK (with an Application to the Orange/T-Mobile Merger)," MPRA Paper 21515, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Hoernig, Steffen, 2016. "Going beyond duopoly: Connectivity breakdowns under receiving party pays," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-9.
    10. Vogelsang Ingo, 2013. "The Endgame of Telecommunications Policy? A Survey," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 64(3), pages 193-270, December.
    11. Greenstein Shane, 2012. "Concentration in Internet Access and Entrepreneurial Truncation of Innovation," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, November.
    12. Hurkens, Sjaak & López, Ángel L., 2014. "Who Should Pay for Two-way Interconnection?," IESE Research Papers D/1102, IESE Business School.

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