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The relationship between regulation and competition policy for network utilities

David M Newbery

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics from Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

Abstract: Should regulation of potentially competitive elements of network utilities be left with sector regulators or solely subject to normal competition laws? Britain evolved licenses for network activities overseen by regulators while the EU places more emphasis on making sector regulation consistent with competition law. The paper discusses the appropriateness of the competition law approach for telecoms and electricity. Post-modern utilities like telecoms, in which facilities-based competition is possible, lend themselves to the approach laid out in the Communications Directives, and its application to mobile call termination is discussed. Electricity, where collective dominance is more likely, does not fit comfortably into this approach. Instead, licence conditions retain advantages where it may be necessary to modify market rules in a timely and well-informed manner, as exemplified by the English Electricity Pool.

Keywords: Regulation; competition policy; telecommunications; electricity; market power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G18 L94 L96 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2006-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-cse, nep-ene, nep-ind, nep-mic, nep-net and nep-reg
Note: IO
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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