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Co-investments and tacit collusion in regulated network industries: Experimental evidence

  • Krämer, Jan
  • Vogelsang, Ingo

With the use of a laboratory experiment, we show the effects of co-investments on coverage, competition and price collusion in regulated network industries. On the one hand, co-investments turn out not to be a significant driver of new infrastructure investments beyond the level achieved by access regulation and they seem to facilitate tacit price collusion. On the other hand, co-investments economize on infrastructure investment costs and necessitate communication, which partially offset the aforementioned effects. In fact, communication between the firms on their future coverage, especially outside co-investments, seems to have a positive effect on investments. However, the surprising message of the experiment is that tacit collusion happens under co-investment although there is no reason to believe that it should and although we made almost every effort to prevent it. Our results indicate that regulators should evaluate co-investments with scrutiny as there are definite drawbacks that must be considered.

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Paper provided by International Telecommunications Society (ITS) in its series 23rd European Regional ITS Conference, Vienna 2012 with number 60389.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse12:60389
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.itseurope.org/

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  1. Graeme Guthrie, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 925-972, December.
  2. Bourreau, Marc & Cambini, Carlo & Hoernig, Steffen, 2012. "Ex ante regulation and co-investment in the transition to next generation access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 399-406.
  3. Bastian Henze & Charles Noussair & Bert Willems, 2012. "Regulation of network infrastructure investments: an experimental evaluation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-38, August.
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  7. Walter Distaso & Paolo Lupi & Fabio M. Manenti, 2005. "Platform Competition and Broadband Uptake: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the European Union," Industrial Organization 0504019, EconWPA.
  8. Guthrie, Graeme, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Working Paper Series 3851, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
  9. Marc BOURREAU & Carlo CAMBINI & Steffen HOERNIG, 2010. "National FTTH plans in France, Italy and Portugal," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(78), pages 107-126, 2nd quart.
  10. Dobson, Paul W. & Waterson, Michael, 2008. "Chain-Store Competition: Customized vs. Uniform Pricing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 840, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  11. Christian Rojas, 2012. "The role of demand information and monitoring in tacit collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 78-109, 03.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Cason, Timothy N & Mason, Charles F, 1999. "Information Sharing and Tacit Collusion in Laboratory Duopoly Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 258-81, April.
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