European mobile markets and the doctrine of “4 networks good, 3 networks bad”

Curwen, Peter and Whalley, Jason (2016) European mobile markets and the doctrine of “4 networks good, 3 networks bad”. info, 18 (5). pp. 1-23. ISSN 1463-6697

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In light of the recent European Commission decisions that clearly favour the maintenance of a four-network structure in European mobile markets, the purpose is to provide an empirical examination of the case for and against such a structure.

A table of concentration ratios in 35 sample European markets is constructed and is followed by a detailed analysis of all relevant merger/takeover cases since 2012. These are then used to provide a general analysis of the desirability of further consolidation in the European mobile sector.

Although the relevant investigatory bodies claim to have made out a watertight case for the maintenance of existing structures, the paper explains why these claims should be met with some scepticism, especially in light of the development of “quad-play” in all markets.

Research limitations/implications:
When a decision is made on a market structure, it is pointless to pursue the “but what if?” alternatives any further. However, it should be possible in a few years’ time to assess whether the Commission’s predictions have come to pass.

As the UK decision has only just been delivered, the only commentary so far has had a narrow focus, whereas this paper seeks to provide useful and relevant background data about the structure of markets and technological developments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competitive strategy, European Commission, Mobile networks, Concentration ratios
Subjects: N100 Business studies
P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 16:50
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2023 16:59

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