ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Market Power And Competition PolicySubscribe to Market Power And Competition Policy

Internet Search Engines and Two-sided Markets

Internet search engines provide a vital platform for various groups to interact and create value. On the one hand, they help users find answers to their search queries, and on the other, search engines monetise their free search services by selling advertisements to connect potential buyers with sellers. An exploration of the economics of search markets is presented along with a discussion about the economic literature on two (multi)-sided markets. There is also a discussion of issues with the developments in the antitrust case pertaining to Google in India.

Conflict between Regulation and Competition Law in the Indian Telecom Sector

The debate regarding the respective realms of competition law and economic regulation is not new. In the Indian context, complaints filed against the telecom incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Idea by Reliance Jio before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Competition Commission of India bring to the fore such an example. This case is analysed primarily through the legal standpoint, and it is argued that competition law intervention is warranted only in “gap” cases: where the regulatory regime cannot account for consumer welfare. Where the regulatory and competition agency reach conflicting decisions, the issue can be resolved by a third body whose decision is binding on both the regulator and the competition agency.

Information and Communications Technology Markets

The economics of the information and communication technologies industry is discussed, along with features of the Competition Act, 2002 and its relevance to the “new economy.”In the context of three cases—the Multi-Commodity Exchange Stock Exchange case in India, the Microsoft/Netscape Navigator case in the United States, and the Deutsche Telekom case in Europe—the concept of “relevant market” is explored, and observations are made on features such as two-sided markets, network effects and innovation, and on strategies such as vertical integration and predatory pricing.

Challenges of Competition and Regulation in the Telecom Sector

The telecommunications sector has come a long way from its perceived status as a natural monopoly to a competitive multiplayer industry. As competitive forces, both from within the telecom industry and the surrounding digital ecosystem, continue to redefine the sector’s dynamics, it creates new challenges for regulation and competition enforcement. Calling for fresh thinking on the respective roles of the sectoral regulator, the competition authority and the need for greater synergies between them, a model for voluntary cooperation between the authorities is suggested.

Repurposing NSSO Data for Market Definition

The definition of the relevant antitrust market is a critical first step in a competition economics investigation. For certain products, publicly available data in the form of the large sample household consumption expenditure survey can be used to implement small but significant and non-transitory increase in price tests for a range of consumer goods at different levels of geographic aggregation. Demand elasticities for a set of consumption goods are estimated through use of the Heckman sample selection model, which corrects for sample selection biases and specification errors that appear in survey data. Among other things, the conditions under which biased elasticity estimates lead to overly wide or overly narrow market definition are also illustrated.
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