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Legally Separated Joint Ownership of Bidder and Auctioneer: Illustrated by the Partial Deregulation of the EU Electricity Markets

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  • Silvester van Koten

Abstract

In the EU electricity industry, many Vertically Integrated Utilities (VIUs) have ownership both of electricity generators and of transmission, hence VIU-owned or allied generators often are bidders in auctions for VIU-owned transmission. In Van Koten (2006) I show that welfare suffers and the holding company benefits – through increased auction revenue – from more aggressive bidding by the allied bidder and that it does not make a difference whether transmission is legally separated from the VIU or not. Here I analyze the regulatory measure of also legally separating the allied generator from the VIU; this measure effectively transforms the VIU into a holding company and prevents the “VIU” from influencing day-to-day decision-making of the “VIU”-owned generator and bans cross-subsidization between divisions. I show that such a measure may not improve welfare; the holding company can formulate a simple compensation scheme that does not violate the restrictions imposed by legal separation but induces the manager of the allied generator to bid more aggressively, thereby increasing the profits of the holding company and decreasing welfare, as in Van Koten (2006).

Suggested Citation

  • Silvester van Koten, 2007. "Legally Separated Joint Ownership of Bidder and Auctioneer: Illustrated by the Partial Deregulation of the EU Electricity Markets," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp346, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp346
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    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp346.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    2. Parisio, Lucia & Bosco, Bruno, 2003. "Market Power and the Power Market: Multi-unit Bidding and (In)Efficiency in Electricity Auctions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(4), pages 377-401, August.
    3. Silvester van Koten, 2006. "Bidding Behavior when One Bidder and the Auctioneer Are Vertically Integrated Implications for the Partial Deregulation of EU Electricity Markets," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp313, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    4. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071, August.
    5. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
    6. Leautier, Thomas-Olivier, 2001. "Transmission Constraints and Imperfect Markets for Power," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 27-54, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvester van Koten, 2006. "Bidding Behavior when One Bidder and the Auctioneer Are Vertically Integrated Implications for the Partial Deregulation of EU Electricity Markets," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp313, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric auctions; bidding behavior; electricity markets; strategic delegation; regulation; vertical integration.;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy

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