Competition, Regulation and the New Economy by Cosmo Graham, Fiona Smith

By Cosmo Graham, Fiona Smith

As well as being the vital medium for communique, schooling and leisure, the hot economic climate is now a number one supplier of products and providers via digital channels. the hot financial system rides at the crest of recent technological advancements in pcs, telecommunications and satellites growing new interactive mediums and from the deregulation and privatization of kingdom owned organizations within the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. whereas the commercial viability of the dotcoms is wondered, the lifestyles of a brand new economic system with novel tools of construction, distribution and trade is right here to stick. facts of this can be the truth that there are three hundred million energetic pcs on the earth, with 350 million those who use the realm huge internet (expected to develop to at least one billion in 4 years), and the rate of microprocessors regularly raises, facilitating using IT. The query that's pursued within the sequence of essays during this publication is whether or not the conceptual underpinnings of festival legislation and foreign regulatory mechanisms are sufficient or applicable to accommodate the advancements raised through the hot economic climate.

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48 Given the speed of market developments, the relevance of market shares can be questioned—if dominance is ‘fragile’ as the neo-Schumpeterians claim, then the relevance of market shares diminishes considerably. 50 Barriers to entry, as will be shown below, are as important; consequently this criticism on its own is not tenable. 51 Consumers want to buy an operating system for which a large number of applications have already been written and developers of applications prefer to write for an operating system that has a substantial consumer base—the upshot is that once Microsoft has such a large market share for its operating system, then applications writers will prefer to write applications for Microsoft, further consolidating its dominance.

From a neo-structuralist perspective the market definitions are convincing; however a neo-Schumpeterian perspective would criticise these market definitions as unnecessarily narrow, for two reasons: first in AOL/Time Warner the Commission failed to deploy the correct econometric methodology favouring a set of factors that make little economic sense; secondly while the market definition in WorldCom/Sprint is more persuasive, it fails to take into account the dynamic nature of the new economy. 24 In addition to these criticisms, it will be argued that the AOL/Time Warner decision seems to adopt an unnecessarily narrow definition of the market for policy reasons—the wish to regulate the development of the on-line industry.

30 Note similar fears about the development of the pay TV market in Germany if the merger in Deutsche Telekom/BetaResearch [1999] OJ L/53/3 were to be allowed: paras 33–34 (concerns that BetaResearch’s d-box technology would become the digital standard); paras 35–36 (concerns over the development of new technology); paras 37–39 (concerns that all new operators would be dependent on BetaResearch’s licensing policies). See 28th Competition Report (1998) paras 96 and 141. 31 Bertlesmann/Kirch/Premeire [1999] OJ L/53/1 passim, but esp paras 119–22.

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