Natural Monopoly

1073 words 5 pages
| Natural Monopoly | Telecommunications Law and Regulation Week 2 | | | |


I believe that times change and as they, change rules and regulations must adapt to the times. Therefore, the treatment of the different industries must represent the different industries as they grow. I do not think the Telephone and Broadcast should never have or ever be considered a “Natural Monopoly”. The concept of natural monopoly presents a challenging public policy dilemma. On the one hand, a natural monopoly implies that efficiency in production would be better served if a single firm supplies the entire market. On the other hand, in the absence of any competition the monopoly holder will be tempted to exploit his natural
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Given large fixed costs, does it make sense to award a local franchise to one company when another already has facilities in an adjacent community? Yet such "wasteful duplication," as the natural monopoly proponents would call it, occurs frequently under the franchise system. Local franchises make no sense in a true natural monopoly setting. 3. These questions, however, go to the heart of natural monopoly theory itself, a doctrine that is under increasing attack.[10] In the face of crumbling conventional wisdom in this area, the burden should be on the natural monopoly proponents to demonstrate that competition is not possible, and further, that regulation is necessary. Such a demonstration will prove impossible in the cable context. Cable is both extremely competitive, facing both direct and indirect market challenges, and, in any event, is better left unregulated.
For many decades, economic textbooks have held up the telecommunications industry as the ideal model of natural monopoly. A natural monopoly is said to exist when a single firm is able to control most, if not all, output and prices in a given market due to the enormous entry barriers and economies of scale associated with the industry. More specifically, a market is said to be naturally monopolistic when one firm can serve consumers at lower costs than two or more firms (Spulber 1995: 31). For example, telephone service traditionally has required


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