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Internet Interconnection and the Off-Net-Cost Pricing Principle

  • Jean-Jacques Laffont

We develop a framework for Internet backbone competition. In the absence of direct payments between websites and consumers, the access charge allocates communication costs between websites and consumers and affects the volume of traffic. We analyze the impact of the access charge on competitive strategies in an unregulated retail environment. In a remarkably broad range of environments, operators set prices for their customers as if their customers' traffic were entirely off-net. We then compare the socially optimal access charge with the privately desirable one. Finally, when websites charge micropayments, or sell goods and services, the impact of the access charge on welfare is reduced; in particular, the access charge is neutral in a range of circumstances. Copyright 2003 by the RAND Corporation.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Theory workshop papers with number 357966000000000085.

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Date of creation: 26 Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclatw:357966000000000085
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  1. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1996. "How (Not) to Sell Nuclear Weapons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 814-29, September.
  2. Crémer, Jacques & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Connectivity in the Commercial Internet," IDEI Working Papers 87, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2000.
  3. Gans, J.S. & King, S.P., 2000. "Using 'Bill and Keep' Interconnect Arrangements to Soften Network Competiti on," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 739, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Doh Shin Jeon & Jean Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "On the receiver pays principle," Economics Working Papers 561, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing cybermediaries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 797-808, May.
  6. Armstrong, M., 1996. "Network interconnection," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9625, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  7. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Network Competition: I. Overview and Nondiscriminatory Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 1-37, Spring.
  8. Michael Carter & Julian Wright, 1999. "Interconnection in Network Industries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, February.
  9. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Network Competition: II. Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 38-56, Spring.
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