Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2061895
 
 

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How Does the Experience of U.S. Telecommunications Regulation Inform the Forced Sharing of Intellectual Property Rights under Global Competition Law?


Gregory Sidak


Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University; Criterion Economics, L.L.C.

May 17, 2012


Abstract:     
Competition authorities in foreign jurisdictions have recently adopted or are considering guidelines on applying competition law to intellectual property rights (IPR). A common concern that certain exercises of IPR can restrict competition underlies IPR provisions that would enable competition authorities to compel holders of IPR to license their IP at regulated royalties. The experience of telecommunications regulation in the United States, from the AT&T divestiture in the early 1980s to the implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, illustrates the potential harm to competition and innovation that such forced-sharing policies would cause. The AT&T divestiture was a costly exercise that prevented or delayed the introduction of new services. Forced sharing of incumbents’ network elements at regulated rates under the Telecommunications Act reduced investment by both incumbents and entrants. Ironically (yet predictably), the competition for local telephone service that the Act sought but failed to foster was provided by wireless and cable operators, which were deliberately left unregulated and thus had both the incentive and means to upgrade and expand their networks to handle mass volumes of voice and data communications. The failure of forced sharing to promote competition and innovation counsels competition authorities to proceed with caution when using competition law to regulate IPR.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

JEL Classification: D23, D45, K11, K21, L10, L40, L51, L96, O34, O38

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Date posted: May 17, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Sidak, Gregory, How Does the Experience of U.S. Telecommunications Regulation Inform the Forced Sharing of Intellectual Property Rights under Global Competition Law? (May 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2061895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2061895

Contact Information

J. Gregory Sidak (Contact Author)
Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University ( email )
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
Criterion Economics, L.L.C. ( email )
1614 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
United States
(202) 518-5121 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.criterioneconomics.com
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