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Liberalization of the Postal Service Market in Europe: Entry with Universal Service and Partial Coverage

  • Beschorner, Patrick Frank Ernst
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    In the advent of postal market liberalization in several European countries we expect that the incumbent operators anticipate entry by competitors who are not required to offer universal service, i.e. coverage of the entire country and uniform pricing. The market for postal service exhibits stronger network effects than in telecommunications because of limited interconnection. In the present paper we model entrants which can opt for a partial geographical coverage and who enter with a higher service quality than the incumbent. This allows to predict possible deterrence or accommodating strategies by the incumbent. We show that dependent on the shape of the network costs and the network effects entrants may either offer a low quality in order to mitigate competition or offer a higher quality in order to restrict the entrant's geographical coverage.

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    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-122.

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    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7512
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    1. Chone, Philippe & Flochel, Laurent & Perrot, Anne, 2000. "Universal service obligations and competition," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 249-259, September.
    2. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-89, March.
    3. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-94, March.
    4. repec:bla:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:1:p:3-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Valletti, Tommaso M., 2000. "Introduction: Symposium on universal service obligation and competition," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 205-210, September.
    6. Panzar, John C., 2000. "A methodology for measuring the costs of universal service obligations," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 211-220, September.
    7. Donnenfeld, Shabtai & Weber, Shlomo, 1992. "Vertical product differentiation with entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 449-472, September.
    8. Hung, N. M. & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1988. "Quality competition and threat of entry in duopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 287-292.
    9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
    10. Lutz, Stefan, 1996. "Vertical Product Differentiation and Entry Deterrence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Rodriguez, Frank & Storer, David, 2000. "Alternative approaches to estimating the cost of the USO in posts," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 285-299, September.
    12. Chone, Philippe & Flochel, Laurent & Perrot, Anne, 2002. "Allocating and funding universal service obligations in a competitive market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1247-1276, November.
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