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Competition in Mobile Telephony in France and Germany

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Abstract

This paper provides an insight into the antitrust investigation initiated by the French competition authority, which found that mobile operators exchanged strategic information and agreed to fix market shares in years the 2000-2002. The empirical analysis is based on the comparison of mobile markets in France and Germany and uses aggregate industry-level data on subscriptions and prices. The penetration of mobile phones at the end of 1999 was higher in France than in Germany, but this situation was reversed by the end of 2002. In the same time period, minimum prices of mobile services in France, computed for a defined low-usage basket, were on average by about 58% lower than the corresponding prices in Germany. The results of binomial logit demand estimation suggest two explanations for this situation. First, there is a significant difference between price elasticities of demand in these two countries. Second, consumers seem to perceive mobile telephony as a substitute to fixed-line connection in France and as a complement in Germany. However, in a separate reduced-form estimation we do not find a significant effect of prices for fixed-line services on mobile prices in either country. Furthermore, the estimation results suggest that the share-fixing agreement in France could have slowed down subscriptions, but we fail to find that it had an adverse effect on prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Lukasz Grzybowski & Chiraz Karamti, 2007. "Competition in Mobile Telephony in France and Germany," Working Papers 07-24, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0724
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lukasz Grzybowski & Pedro Pereira, 2006. "Simulation of Merger in Mobile Telephony in Portugal," Working Papers 06-22, NET Institute, revised Oct 2006.
    2. Doganoglu, Toker & Grzybowski, Lukasz, 2007. "Estimating network effects in mobile telephony in Germany," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 65-79, March.
    3. Barros, Pedro Luis Pita & Cadima, Nuno, 2000. "The Impact of Mobile Phone Diffusion on the Fixed-Link Network," CEPR Discussion Papers 2598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Okada, Yosuke & Hatta, Keiko, 1999. "The Interdependent Telecommunications Demand and Efficient Price Structure," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 311-335, December.
    5. Gruber, Harald & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The diffusion of mobile telecommunications services in the European Union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 577-588, March.
    6. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    7. Rodini, Mark & Ward, Michael R. & Woroch, Glenn A., 0. "Going mobile: substitutability between fixed and mobile access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 457-476, June.
    8. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    9. Ahn, Hyungtaik & Lee, Myeong-Ho, 1999. "An econometric analysis of the demand for access to mobile telephone networks," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 297-305, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lukasz Grzybowski & Frank Verboven, 2013. "Substitution and Complementarity between Fixed-line and Mobile Access," Working Papers 13-09, NET Institute.
    2. Grzybowski, Lukasz, 2014. "Fixed-to-mobile substitution in the European Union," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 601-612.
    3. Lange, Mirjam R. J. & Šaric, Amela, 2014. "Deregulating fixed voice services? Empirical evidence from the European Union," 20th ITS Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro 2014: The Net and the Internet - Emerging Markets and Policies 106864, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. Chiraz Karamti & Lukasz Grzybowski, 2010. "Hedonic study on mobile telephony market in France: pricing–quality strategies," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 255-289, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mobile telephony; binomial logit; reduced-form; share-fixing;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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