Content

Margit Vanberg, Conclusions in:

Margit Vanberg

Competition and Cooperation Among Internet Service Providers, page 165 - 166

A Network Economic Analysis

1. Edition 2009, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4163-5, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1290-6 https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845212906

Series: Freiburger Studien zur Netzökonomie, vol. 14

Bibliographic information
165 information society services, and to impose appropriate interoperability requirements (EC, 2006: 32f.).164 This assessment of the European Commission is in line with the above conclusion that market power regulation of monopolistic bottlenecks is sufficient to hinder discriminatory market power leveraging. 9.4 Conclusions The overview of telecommunications regulation in the U.S. and the EU focused on the regulation of access to network elements of the local telecommunications infrastructure. It was shown that the trend to the convergence of telecommunications, media, and Internet services has had a different impact on traditional telecommunications regulations in the United States and the European Union. In the United States, liberalization of local telecommunications services was introduced in 1996 and was at first accelerated by intensive unbundling regulations. When infrastructure-platform competition increased, these regulations were subsequently curtailed dramatically. Today, incumbents are only obliged to offer unbundled access to the local loop for narrowband voice telecommunications services. For broadband access, U.S. regulation currently relies on competition by other infrastructure platforms. In Europe full liberalization of telecommunications services provision was introduced in 1998. Convergence was accounted for in the new EU regulatory framework for electronic communications of March 2002, which equally applies to different electronic communications platforms. The advent of network convergence has not had the effect of reducing regulation of wholesale telecommunications inputs. Rather, market-power regulation was extended to sectors previously not included. In addition, the analysis showed that the importance of competitive broadbandaccess markets is increasing with the advent of NGN services. The fact that broadband-access regulation was curtailed so significantly in the U.S. is partly responsible for the fear of network neutrality activists that vertically integrated operators may have an incentive to discriminate competitors on the logical and on the applications layers of Internet service provision. If in some geographic markets no infrastructureplatform competition exists or is likely to develop, then the FCC should use the instruments provided by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to regulate unbundled access to remaining monopolistic bottleneck network elements, that competitors need to offer competitive high-speed Internet access services. Further, the assessment of the European regulation of telecommunications services lead to the conclusion that the possibilities, which the framework provides for limiting current overregulation, are not being used. A consistent application of the three-criteria test and a 164 The Commission here refers to the four “Net Freedoms” identified by the FCC, namely “the right for users to access and distribute (lawful) content, to run applications and connect devices of their choice” (EC, 2006: 32). 166 commitment to limit regulation only to market areas in which network-specific market power, due to ownership of monopolistic bottlenecks, is identified, would result in regulating only those remaining access markets in which infrastructure-platform competition has not yet evolved and is not likely to evolve under prevailing market conditions.

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Zusammenfassung

Die Konvergenz der Netztechnologien, die dem Internet, der Telekommunikation und dem Kabelfernsehen zu Grunde liegen, wird die Regulierung dieser Märkte grundlegend verändern. In den sogenannten Next Generation Networks werden auch Sprache und Fernsehinhalte über die IP-Technologie des Internets transportiert. Mit den Methoden der angewandten Mikroökonomie untersucht die vorliegende Arbeit, ob eine ex-ante sektorspezifische Regulierung auf den Märkten für Internetdienste wettbewerbsökonomisch begründet ist. Im Mittelpunkt der Analyse stehen die Größen- und Verbundvorteile, die beim Aufbau von Netzinfrastrukturen entstehen, sowie die Netzexternalitäten, die im Internet eine bedeutende Rolle spielen. Die Autorin kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass in den Kernmärkten der Internet Service Provider keine monopolistischen Engpassbereiche vorliegen, welche eine sektor-spezifische Regulierung notwendig machen würden. Der funktionsfähige Wettbewerb zwischen den ISP setzt jedoch regulierten, diskriminierungsfreien Zugang zu den verbleibenden monopolistischen Engpassbereichen im vorgelagerten Markt für lokale Netzinfrastruktur voraus. Die Untersuchung zeigt den notwendigen Regulierungsumfang in der Internet-Peripherie auf und vergleicht diesen mit der aktuellen Regulierungspraxis auf den Telekommunikationsmärkten in den Vereinigten Staaten und in Europa. Sie richtet sich sowohl an die Praxis (Netzbetreiber, Regulierer und Kartellämter) als auch an die Wissenschaft.