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Beyond the Spectrum Constraint: Concentration and Entry in the Broadcasting Industry

  • Massimo Motta
  • Michele Polo

The broadcasting industry is still very concentrated all over the world, after 15 years in which new technologies and public policies allowed to overcome the constraint of limited availability of frequencies on the radio spectrum. We argue that the monopolistic competition set up, traditionally used to analyze the broadcasting industry, does not fit the empirical evidence. Instead we analyze the free entry equilibrium in a multistage game in which the decision on program quality (attractiveness) is crucial and the associated fixed costs are endogenously determined. We show that concentration might arise in the long run even in large markets despite entry is free.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 115.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:115
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  1. Andreas IRMEN & Jean-François THISSE, 1996. "Competition in Multi-Characteristics Spaces: Hotelling Was Almost Right," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9613, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
  3. Spence, A Michael & Owen, Bruce, 1977. "Television Programming, Monopolistic Competition, and Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 103-26, February.
  4. Neven, D. & Thisse, J-F., 1989. "On Quality And Variety Competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1989020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Massimo Motta & Michele Polo, 1997. "Concentration and public policies in the broadcasting industry: the future of television," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 293-334, October.
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