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Communications

The communications sector has undergone drastic changes as liberalisation and technological developments have altered the way that people and businesses communicate.  Although there are now more operators competing to provide more services to more people than ever before, regulatory authorities still play a significant economic and technical role, especially in relation to forestalling or remedying abuse of a dominant position.

The convergence of different forms of communication – telephony, broadcasting and the internet – and rivalry between different methods of delivery (wireline [both fibre and copper], wireless and satellite) are likely to ensure that regulators will maintain close interest in whether (and how) the forces of competition play out.

Independent economic analysis is thus crucial both for firms operating in the industry and for regulatory bodies seeking to protect the interests of customers.

A clear conceptual framework, based on rigorous economic analysis, is vital to securing consistency between regulatory objectives and policy responses.

Our understanding of the key economic issues in regulation is enhanced by our experience in competition.

Europe Economics has developed substantial expertise in assessing issues which continually arise in the communications sector:

  • whether prices charged by operators with market power are consistent with regulatory objectives;
  • disputes between content providers and operators of delivery platforms;
  • the bundling of products and services;
  • the implications (and cost) of public and universal service obligations;
  • valuing and allocating “the digital dividend” as analogue television signals are switched off;
  • market definition; and
  • the scale and scope of ex ante regulation as compared with the ex post application of competition policy.

We have advised governments, companies or regulators on a wide range of issues in Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Our Experts

Our in-house experts are:  Bob Young, Dermot Glynn, Stephen Topping, Andrew Lilico, Iona McCall and Deborah Drury. 

Primary contacts: Dermot Glynn