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Unbundling and Incumbent Investment in Quality Upgrades and Cost Reduction


  • João Vareda

    () (Autoridade da Concorrência)


We study the investment of a telecommunications incumbent in quality and in cost reduction when an entrant can use its network through unbundling of the local loop. We fi?nd that unbundling may lower incentives for quality improvements, but raises incentives for cost reduction. Therefore, it is not true that all types of investment are crowded out with unbundling. If the regulator can commit to a socially optimal unbundling price before investment, the incumbent makes both types of investment. In the absence of commitment, the incumbent will not invest, so that unbundling regulation may lower welfare as compared to no regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • João Vareda, 2007. "Unbundling and Incumbent Investment in Quality Upgrades and Cost Reduction," Working Papers 31, Portuguese Competition Authority.
  • Handle: RePEc:pca:wpaper:31

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Duarte Brito & Pedro Pereira & João Vareda, 2008. "Incentives to Invest and to Give Access to Non-Regulated Next Generation Networks," Working Papers 35, Portuguese Competition Authority.
    2. Daniel Montolio & Elisa Trujillo, 2012. "What drives investment in telecommunications? The role of regulation, firms’ internationalization and market knowledge," Working Papers 2012/1, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Okamoto, Yoshikazu & Nakamura, Akihiro, 2013. "The influence of local loop unbundling on investment by incumbent telecommunications operators in the OECD member countries," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88499, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. João Vareda, 2007. "Access Regulation under Asymmetric Information about Demand," Working Papers 30, Portuguese Competition Authority.
    5. Haucap, Justus & Klein, Gordon J., 2012. "How regulation affects network and service quality in related markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 521-524.
    6. Nitsche, Rainer & Wiethaus, Lars, 2011. "Access regulation and investment in next generation networks -- A ranking of regulatory regimes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 263-272, March.
    7. Bourreau Marc & Dogan Pinar, 2012. "Level of Access and Competition in Broadband Markets," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-33, March.
    8. Benjamin Pakula & Georg Götz, 2011. "Organisational Structures in Network Industries – An Application to the Railway Industry," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201109, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Hoernig, Steffen & Jay, Stephan & Neumann, Karl-Heinz & Peitz, Martin & Plückebaum, Thomas & Vogelsang, Ingo, 2012. "The impact of different fibre access network technologies on cost, competition and welfare," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 96-112.
    10. Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2009. "Auswirkungen von Regulierung auf das Investitionsverhalten in Netzindustrien: Die europäische Telekommunikationsindustrie," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 62(10), pages 12-15, May.
    11. Pachis, Athanasios & Yannelis, Demetrius, 2013. "The relation between local loop unbundling and investment in fixed telephony," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88470, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    12. Michiel Bijlsma & Viktoria Kocsis & Victoria Shestalova & Gijsbert Zwart, 2008. "Vertical foreclosure: a policy framework," CPB Document 157, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. Veith, Tobias, 2009. "Mobile network interconnection and investments," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-071, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Access Pricing; Telecommunications Regulation; Unbundling; Investments; Quality upgrades; Cost reduction; Commitment;

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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