Thursday, October 20, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
David P.Byrne (University of Melbourne - Economics) has posted a paper on Consolidation and Price Discrimination in the Cable Television Industry.
ABSTRACT: This paper measures the impact of consolidation on cable television prices, product quality,profits and consumer welfare. I estimate a multi-product monopoly model using panel data on cable menus and costs in Canada from 1990 to 1996. Using counterfactual simulations, I find mean consumer welfare rises with acquisitions, as does welfare inequality across consumers. Scale economies are the primary driver of consolidation effects quantitatively, with firm heterogeneity in demand and costs having a smaller impact. Regional consolidation yields non-negligible welfare gains, particularly in rural markets where potential cable quality improvements and cost reductions are the largest.