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Pricing Internet Traffic: Exclusion, Signalling and Screening

Author

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  • Jullien, Bruno
  • Sand-Zantman, Wilfried

Abstract

We consider a network that intermediates traffic between free content providers and consumers. While consumers do not know the traffic cost when deciding on consumption, a content provider knows his cost but may not control the consumption. We study how pricing consumers' and content providers' sides allows both profit extraction from the network and efficient information transmission. In the case of uniform tariff, we argue that a positive price-cap on the charge to content is optimal (with no constrain on the consumer side). Proposing menus helps signaling useful information to consumers and therefore adjusting consumption to traffic cost. In the case of menus, we show that optimal mechanisms consist in letting the content producers choose between different categories associated with different prices for content and consumers. Our results are robust to competition between ISPs and to competition between contents. We also show that when (competitive) content providers choose at small cost between a pay and a free business model, a price-cap at cost on the price for content improves efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jullien, Bruno & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2014. "Pricing Internet Traffic: Exclusion, Signalling and Screening," CEPR Discussion Papers 9896, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9896
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reggiani, Carlo & Valletti, Tommaso, 2016. "Net neutrality and innovation at the core and at the edge," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 16-27.
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    5. Peitz, Martin & Schuett, Florian, 2016. "Net neutrality and inflation of traffic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 16-62.
    6. Jan Krämer & Lukas Wiewiorra, 2012. "Network Neutrality and Congestion Sensitive Content Providers: Implications for Content Variety, Broadband Investment, and Regulation," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 23(4), pages 1303-1321, December.
    7. Jay Pil Choi & Doh-Shin Jeon & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2013. "Asymmetric Neutrality Regulation and Innovation at the Edges: Fixed vs. Mobile Networks," Working Papers 13-24, NET Institute.
    8. Jullien, B. & Mariotti, T., 2006. "Auction and the informed seller problem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 225-258, August.
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    10. Hermalin, Benjamin E. & Katz, Michael L., 2007. "The economics of product-line restrictions with an application to the network neutrality debate," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 215-248, June.
    11. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Peitz, Martin & Schuett, Florian, 2016. "Net neutrality and inflation of traffic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 16-62.
    2. repec:bla:jindec:v:66:y:2018:i:1:p:172-204 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jay Pil Choi & Doh-Shin Jeon & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2013. "Asymmetric Neutrality Regulation and Innovation at the Edges: Fixed vs. Mobile Networks," Working Papers 13-24, NET Institute.
    4. Broos, Sébastien & Gautier, Axel, 2014. "Competing one-way essential complements: the forgotten side of net neutrality," CORE Discussion Papers 2014064, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Jay Pil Choi & Doh†Shin Jeon & Byung†Cheol Kim, 2018. "Net Neutrality, Network Capacity, and Innovation at the Edges," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 172-204, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    information; intranet; net neutrality; traffic management;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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