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Are Local TV Markets Separate Markets?

  • Robert Ekelund
  • George Ford
  • John Jackson

In sweeping revisions the US Telecommunications Act of 1996 relaxed rules respecting broadcast TV ownership regulations. In particular Congress directed the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to conduct a rulemaking on whether the 'duopoly rules' preventing businesses from owning multiple broadcast stations in the same market should be relaxed, modified or eliminated. Naturally, this directive raises questions concerning competition. Specifically, would concentration and consolidation of local media firms have deleterious effects on advertising rates, output and consumer choice? In the present paper we examine, using own-price and cross-price elasticity demand estimates, the question of whether local TV markets constitute a separate market for advertising. Our structural tests, with appropriate caveats, reveal that local TV advertising is not, by itself, a distinct market - one relevant for antitrust action.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 79-97

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:7:y:2000:i:1:p:79-97
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  1. Werden, G.J., 1992. "The History of Antitrust Market Delineation," Papers 92-8, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  2. Thompson, R Stephen, 1989. "Circulation versus Advertiser Appeal in the Newspaper Industry: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 259-71, March.
  3. Nelson, C. & Startz, R., 1988. "The Distribution Of The Instrumental Variables Estimator And Its T-Ratio When The Instrument Is A Poor One," Working Papers 88-07, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Stigler, George J & Sherwin, Robert A, 1985. "The Extent of the Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 555-85, October.
  5. Froeb, L.M. & Werden, G.J., 1991. "Correlation, Causality, and all that Jazz: The Inherent Shortcomings of Price Tests for Antitrust Market Delineation," Papers 91-6, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  6. Thompson, R S, 1984. "Structure and Conduct in Local Advertising Markets: The Case of Irish Provincial Newspapers," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 241-49, December.
  7. Baker, Jonathan B. & Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1988. "Estimating the residual demand curve facing a single firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 283-300.
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