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Strategic bypass deterrence


  • BLOCH, Francis

    () (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • GAUTIER, Axel

    () (University of Liège, HEC, Belgium; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)


In liberalized network industries, entrants can either compete for service using the existing infrastructure (access) or deploy their own infrastructure capacity (bypass). In this paper, we demonstrate that, under the threat of bypass, the access price set by an unregulated and vertically integrated incumbent is compatible with productive efficiency. This means that the entrant bypasses the existing infrastructure only if it can produce the network input more efficiently. We show that the incumbent lowers the access price compared to the ex-post efficient level to strategically deter inefficient bypass by the entrant. Accordingly, from a productive efficiency point of view, there is no need to regulate access prices when the entrant has the option to bypass. Despite that, we show that restricting the possibilities of access might be profitable for consumers and welfare because competition is fiercer under bypass.

Suggested Citation

  • BLOCH, Francis & GAUTIER, Axel, 2012. "Strategic bypass deterrence," CORE Discussion Papers 2012062, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2012062

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Keizo Mizuno & Ichiro Yoshino, 2015. "Overusing a bypass under cost-based access regulation: underinvestment with spillovers," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 29-57, February.

    More about this item


    make-or-buy; access price; bypass;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation


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