Internet pricing: una breve rassegna critica
In the article, some recent literature on Internet pricing is surveyed. The author looks at the topic by setting it in the more general framework of the analysis of activities that can be regarded as similar to Internet from the technological and economic point of view. In particular, attention is focused on the problem of the divergence between private and social costs when there occurs network congestion and the problem of efficient prices in activities characterized by the existence of peak-loads. The author argues that dealing with such issues in the context of Internet cannot be reduced to a straightforward application of traditional results of welfare economics and the literature on peak-load pricing. In a competitive market with similar features to the market for Internet services, it is well possible that there do not exist incentives that induce firms to adopt price systems such as to prevent and/or eliminate congestion. Further theoretical and analytical developments are then in order.
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