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Bundling, Differentiation, Alliances and Mergers: Convergence Strategies in U.S. Communication Markets

  • Bauer, Johannes M.
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    Convergence is a multi-facetted phenomenon affecting the technological basis of information and communication industries, the boundaries of existing and new markets, and the organization of service providers. Convergence in substitutes will tend to increase the intensity of competition but convergence in complements may have the opposite effect. Given the economics of advanced communication industries, convergence necessitates strategies to overcome the risk of commodification at the level of networks, applications, and services. The paper examines bundling, differentiation, alliances, and merger strategies adopted by North American service providers in response to convergence. Service providers'opportunities and risks in the emerging environment differ considerably, with cable and telephone service providers presently in stronger positions than wireless service providers, broadcasters, and satellite service providers. New entrants such as Vonage, Skype, Google, and Yahoo have high disruptive potential but remain disadvantaged without their own access networks.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2515/1/MPRA_paper_2515.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2515.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2515
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    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt5ps3f7p9, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Koski, Heli A. & Majumdar, Sumit K., 2000. "Convergence in telecommunications infrastructure development in OECD countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 111-131, June.
    4. D. Geradin, 2001. "Regulatory issues raised by network convergence: The case of multi-utilities," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 2(1), pages 113-127, September.
    5. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187, February.
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