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Saturday, September 9 • 3:05pm - 3:40pm
Business Data Services after the 1996 Act: Structure, Conduct, Performance in the Core of the Digital Communications Network

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Business data services (BDS) have been growing at almost 15% per year for a decade and a half, driven by the fact that high capacity, high quality, always on connections are vital to a wide range of businesses and economic activities. Affected services include more than communications – like mobile, broadband and digital – but all forms of high capacity connections, ubiquitous networks like ATM or gas stations, and the evolving in the internet of things.

The ocean of data coursing through the digital network must become a stream directed to each individual consumer. The point at which takes place is the new chokepoint in the communications network.

This paper reviews the data gathered by the FCC that shows the BDS market is one of the most concentrated markets in the entire digital communications sector (with CR4 values close to 100% and HHI indices in the range of 6000 to 7000). The structure conduct performance paradigm frames the origins, extent and implications of the current performance of a near-monopoly and future prospects for competition in the BDS market. It shows that the anticompetitive behaviors of firms with this much market power expected by economic theory are well supported by the FCC data. The problem is clear, the solution is difficult and complex. The paper reviews the proposed remedies ranging from the deregulatory proposals of the incumbents to the partial reregulation scheme negotiated by some incumbents and competitors, to the full reregulation approach supported by others.

avatar for Trey Hanbury

Trey Hanbury

Partner, Hogan Lovells


Mark Cooper

Consumer Federation of America

Saturday September 9, 2017 3:05pm - 3:40pm EDT
ASLS Hazel Hall - Room 332

Attendees (5)