Open Access To Broadband Networks: A Case Study Of The AOL/Time Warner Merger

46 Pages Posted: 7 May 2001  

Daniel L. Rubinfeld

University of California at Berkeley - School of Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); NYU Law School

Hal J. Singer

Economists Incorporated

Abstract

This Article provides a framework for the analysis of the potential effects of the recent AOL/Time Warner merger on the markets forbroadband Internet access and broadband Internet content. We consider two anticompetitive strategies that a vertically integrated firm such as AOL Time Warner, offering both broadband transport and portal services, could in theory profitably pursue. First, an integrated provider could engage in conduit discrimination?insulating its own conduit from competition by limiting its distribution of affiliated content and services over rival platforms. Second, an integrated provider could engage in content discrimination?insulating its own affiliated content from competition by blocking or degrading the quality of outside content. After examining the competitive conditions in the broadband portal and transport markets, we evaluate the post-merger incentives of AOL Time Warner to engage in either or both forms of discrimination.

Suggested Citation

Rubinfeld, Daniel L. and Singer, Hal J., Open Access To Broadband Networks: A Case Study Of The AOL/Time Warner Merger. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, Spring 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=269124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.269124

Daniel L. Rubinfeld (Contact Author)

University of California at Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
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HOME PAGE: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/rubinfeldd

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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NYU Law School ( email )

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Hal J. Singer

Economists Incorporated ( email )

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Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-747-3520 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ei.com/viewprofessional.php?id=71

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