Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Friday, March 9, 2012

Innovation, Resource Constraints, and Mergers in Network Industries

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Mark A. Jamison, University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center and Janice Alane Hauge, University of North Texas describe Innovation, Resource Constraints, and Mergers in Network Industries.

ABSTRACT: We analyze how resource constraints and market structure interact in network industries to impact innovation. This issue has arisen recently in the United States where AT&T proposed to acquire T-Mobile’s U.S. assets at least in part to obtain T-Mobile’s radio spectrum, which AT&T says it needs to effectively deploy fourth generation (4G) wireless communications services in the country. However, our analysis has implications for other potential mergers and competition issues in network industries. For example, there is growing concern in the United States and Europe about Google’s growing market share in many Internet markets. We find that innovation is more likely with larger firms in part because of their scale economies and also because of their incentives to respond to network effects. We also find that while smaller firms may feel discriminated against in terms of the quality of connectivity, they are actually better off with the larger firms in their markets.

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