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On Regulation and Competition: Pros and Cons of a Diversified Monopolist

  • Carlo Scarpa

    (University of Brescia)

  • Giacomo Calzolari

    (University of Bologna)

We study the regulation of a firm which supplies a regulated service while also operating in a competitive, unregulated sector. If the firm conducts its activities in the two markets jointly, it enjoys economies of scope whose size is the firm’s private information, unknown either to the regulator or to the rival firms. We characterize the unregulated market outcome (with price and quantity competition) and optimal regulation that involves an informational externality to the competitors. Although joint conduct of the activities generates scope economies, it also entails private information, so that regulation is less efficient and the unregulated market too may be adversely affected. Nevertheless, we show that allowing the firm to integrate productions is (socially) desirable, unless joint production is characterized by dis-economies of scope.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.55.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.55
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  1. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  2. Calzolari, Giacomo, 2001. "The Theory and Practice of Regulation with Multinational Enterprises," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 191-211, September.
  3. Vickers, John, 1995. "Competition and Regulation in Vertically Related Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-17, January.
  4. Sakai, Yasuhiro, 1985. "The value of information in a simple duopoly model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 36-54, June.
  5. Giacomo Calzolari & Carlo Scarpa, 2009. "Footloose Monopolies: Regulating a "National Champion"," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 1179-1214, December.
  6. Sappington, David E. M., 2003. "Regulating horizontal diversification," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-315, March.
  7. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting," Discussion Papers 1404, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  9. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1989. "An Informational Effect When Regulated Firms Enter Unregulated Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 35-45, March.
  10. Brennan, Timothy J, 1990. "Cross-Subsidization and Cost Misallocation by Regulated Monopolists," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 37-51, March.
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  12. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1990. " Game Theoretic Models of Mixed Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17.
  13. Ronald R. Braeutigam & John C. Panzar, 1989. "Diversification Incentives under "Price-Based" and "Cost-Based" Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 373-391, Autumn.
  14. Brennan, Timothy J & Palmer, Karen, 1994. "Comparing the Costs and Benefits of Diversification by Regulated Firms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 115-36, May.
  15. Berry, S Keith, 2000. "Excess Returns in Electric Utility Mergers during Transition to Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 175-88, September.
  16. Elisabetta Iossa, 1999. "Informative externalities and pricing in regulated multiproduct industries," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/191941, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  18. Leggio, Karyl B & Lien, Donald, 2000. "Mergers in the Electric Utility Industry in a Deregulatory Environment," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 69-85, January.
  19. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
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