How to Auction an Essential Facility When Underhand Integration is Possible
Regulating seaports is difficult in general, even more so for the weak regulatory institutions common in developing countries. For this reason some countries have awarded these facilities via Demsetz auctions, to the port operator that bids the lowest cargo-handling fee. A major concern with Demsetz auctions in this context, is that the winning operator may integrate with a shipper and monopolize the shipping market, by worsening the service quality for competing shippers. The standard policy recommendation against service quality discrimination is to ban the seaport from operating in the shipping market. The effectiveness of such prohibitions is suspect, however, because they can be circumvented by an (illegal) underhand agreement between the port operator and the shipper. In this paper we show that a ban on integration increases welfare if it is combined with a (sufficiently high) floor on the cargo-handling fee that operators can bid in the auction. In the absence of such a floor, however, a Demsetz auction is worse than no regulation at all of the bottleneck monopoly. Our results apply beyond the port and shipping markets, to any essential facility that can monopolize a downstream market. The results only require that profits with underhand vertical integration agreements be less than with legal vertical integration.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: PO Box 8269, New Haven CT 06520-8269|
Phone: (203) 432-3610
Fax: (203) 432-3898
Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lee, Sang Hyup & Hamilton, Jonathan H, 1999. "Using Market Structure to Regulate a Vertically Integrated Monopolist," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 223-248, May.
- Besanko, David, 1985. "Multi-period contracts between principal and agent with adverse selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 33-37.
- Economides, Nicholas, 1999.
"Quality choice and vertical integration,"
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 903-914, August.
- Nicholas Economides, 1994. "Quality Choice and Vertical Integration," Working Papers 94-22, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Lourdes Trujillo & Gustavo Nombela, 2000. "Multiservice Infrastructure : Privatizing Port Services," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11417, The World Bank.
- Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2001. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 993-1020, October.
- Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," Documentos de Trabajo 37, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," NBER Working Papers 6689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel F. Spulber, 1989. "Regulation and Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262192756, July.
- Harstad, Ronald M & Crew, Michael A, 1999. "Franchise Bidding without Holdups: Utility Regulation with Efficient Pricing and Choice of Provider," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 141-163, March.
- Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "Competition in Telecommunications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621509, July.
- Economides, Nicholas, 1998. "The incentive for non-price discrimination by an input monopolist," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 271-284, May.
- Juan Foxley & José Luis Mardones, 2000. "Port Concessions in Chile : Contract Design to Promote Competition and Investment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11418, The World Bank.
- Vickers, John, 1995. "Concepts of Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-387, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)