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The Welfare Effects of Vertical Integration in Multichannel Television Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Gregory S. Crawford
  • Robin S. Lee
  • Michael D. Whinston
  • Ali Yurukoglu

Abstract

We investigate the welfare effects of vertical integration of regional sports networks (RSNs) with programming distributors in U.S. multichannel television markets. Vertical integration can enhance efficiency by reducing double marginalization and increasing carriage of channels, but can also harm welfare due to foreclosure and incentives to raise rivals' costs. We estimate a structural model of viewership, subscription, distributor pricing, and affiliate fee bargaining using a rich data set on the U.S. cable and satellite television industry (2000–2010). We use these estimates to analyze the impact of simulated vertical mergers and divestitures of RSNs on competition and welfare, and examine the efficacy of regulatory policies introduced by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to address competition concerns in this industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory S. Crawford & Robin S. Lee & Michael D. Whinston & Ali Yurukoglu, 2018. "The Welfare Effects of Vertical Integration in Multichannel Television Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(3), pages 891-954, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:86:y:2018:i:3:p:891-954
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA14031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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