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Margin Squeeze in Fixed-Network Telephony Markets – competitive or anticompetitive?

Author

Listed:
  • Wolfgang Briglauer

    () (Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR))

  • Georg Götz

    () (Justus-Liebig-University Gießen)

  • Anton Schwarz

    () (Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR))

Abstract

This paper looks at the effects of different forms of wholesale and retail regulation on retail competition in fixed network telephony markets. We explicitly model two asymmetries between the incumbent operator and the entrant: (i) While the incumbent has zero marginal costs, the entrant has the wholesale access charge as (positive) marginal costs; (ii) While the incumbent is setting a two-part tariff at the retail level (fixed fee and calls price), the entrant can only set a linear price for calls. Competition from other infrastructures such as mobile telephony or cable is modelled as an ‘outside opportunity’ for consumers. We find that a horizontally differentiated entrant with market power may be subject to a margin squeeze due to double marginalization but will never be completely foreclosed. Entrants without market power might be subject to a margin squeeze if the wholesale access price is set at average costs and competitive pressure from other infrastructures increases. We argue that a wholesale price regulation at average costs is not optimal in such a situation and discuss retail minus and deregulation as potential alternatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Briglauer & Georg Götz & Anton Schwarz, 2008. "Margin Squeeze in Fixed-Network Telephony Markets – competitive or anticompetitive?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200827, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200827
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    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/27-2008_briglauer.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Götz, Georg, 2013. "Competition, regulation, and broadband access to the internet," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1095-1109.
    2. Horstmann, Niklas & Krämer, Jan & Schnurr, Daniel, 2015. "Upstream Competition and Open Access Regimes: Experimental Evidence," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127149, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    3. Thomas Wein, 2014. "Preventing Margin Squeeze: An Unsolvable Puzzle for Competition Policy? The Case of the German Gasoline Market," Working Paper Series in Economics 309, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Gaudin, Germain & Saavedra, Claudia, 2014. "Ex ante margin squeeze tests in the telecommunications industry: What is a reasonably efficient operator?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 157-172.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    access regulation; foreclosure; margin squeeze; telecommunications; fixed networks;

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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