Competition Policy, Deregulation, and Reregulation

NBER Reporter, Spring 1999 | Go to article overview

Competition Policy, Deregulation, and Reregulation


The NBER, the Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER), and London's Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) jointly sponsored a conference on "Competition Policy, Deregulation, and Reregulation" in Tokyo on December 18-19. Takatoshi Ito, NBER and Hitotsubashi University, and Sadao Nagaoka, Hitotsubashi University, organized this program:

Mark Armstrong, Nuffield College, "Competition and Cooperation in the Pay-TV Market"

Discussants: Turuhiko Nambu, Gakashuin University, and Yasasushi Ohkusa, Osaka City University

Yosuke Okada, Shinshu University, and Keiko Hatta, InfoCom Research Institute, "The Effects of Deregulation and Competition on the Cellular Telephone Industry in Japan"

Discussants: Yukiko Hirao, Seikei University, and Jacques Cremer, Universite des Sciences Sociales de Toulouse

Timothy F. Bresnahan, NBER and Stanford University, and John Richards, Stanford University, "Local and Global Competition in Information Technology"

Discussants: Akira Goto, Hitotsubashi University, and Mark Armstrong

Kenn Ariga, Kyoto University, Kiyohiko Nishimura, University of Tokyo, and Yasushi Ohkusa, "Determinants of Individual Firm Mark-up in Japan: An Econometric Study on the Impacts of Market: Concentration, Market Share, and FTC Regulations"

Discussants: Timothy F. Bresnahan; and Noriyuki Yanagawa, University of Tokyo

Jacques Cremer, "Internet" Discussants: Hioryuki Odagiri, Hitotsubashi University, and Jiro Kokuryo, Keio University Jordi Gual, IESE Universidad de Navarra, Barcelona, "Deregulation and Market Structure in European Banking"

Discussants: Takatoshi Ito; and Takeo Hoshi, University of California, San Diego

Sadao Nagaoka and Fukunari Kimura, Keio University, "The Competitive Impact of International Trade: A Case of Import Liberalization of Oil Product Market in Japan"

Discussants: Kazuharu Kiyono, Waseda University, and Jordi Gual

Armstrong discusses the emerging pay-TV market, focusing specifically on the dangers of anti-competitive agreements between firms in the industry. He describes the industry's economic features and summarizes the current state of the market in the United Kingdom. He analyzes two simple formal models of the industry, discussing the danger of two vertically integrated pay-TV networks entering into collusive agreements to exchange programming with each other. He then proposes an incentive for a telecom-only firm to subsidize a pay-TV-only firm, so as to inhibit entry by combined cable TV/telecom firms.

Cellular telephone is intrinsically a network-type service, and its benefits are dependent on the extent of interconnection with a wire-based network. Demands for both fixed-line and cellular telephones are interdependent of each other. Okada and Hatta examine empirically the interdependent demand among the two networks and this demand's implication for the efficient price structure. The authors' results suggest that the comprehensive deregulation of the cellular telephone industry in 1994 induced the price structure to become more efficient.

Bresnahan and Richards examine the implications of changing global markets in information and communications technology (ICT) for the efficacy of demand-steering public policy in creating local rents. Both computing and telephony are undergoing changes in industry structure associated with changes in competition. The convergence of computing and telephony and the possibility of new ICT markets reinforce trends toward vertical competition. …

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