Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Regulation of ATM fees in a model of spatial competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Karen Kaiser and Carlos Lever Guzman provide thoughts on Regulation of ATM fees in a model of spatial competition.

ABSTRACT: Following the Hotelling model of spatial competition used by Massoud and Bernhardt (2002) to analyze competition in ATM fees, in this paper we analyze the effects of banning fees on the usage of ATMs by account holders. We find that the prohibition also reduces the fees charged to non-account holders but increases fixed fees. This latter increase is on average smaller than the decrease of the former two, which leads total consumer welfare to increase. We also find that the prohibition decreases total surplus but that this decrease is absorbed by the banks' profits. The model does not consider the decision of banks to open or close down ATMs, which we leave for future research.

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