Paragons of Virtue? Competitor Entry and the Strategies of Incumbents in the Us Local Telecommunications Industry
40 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2001
Date Written: September 2000
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has opened hitherto closed markets to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). While a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report on local competition documents vigorous entry during the past years, the market share of the entrants is insubstantial. We investigate whether the presence of new competitors influences the behaviour of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) with respect to pricing, advertising and the extent of diversification that they engage in. This issue is explored empirically, using data for the major US local exchange carriers for the years 1994 to 1998. Our results indicate that the threat provided by market entrants has notably influenced the strategic behaviour of ILECs. The findings show that the incumbent US local operators, particularly the larger ILECs, aggressively protect their profit streams from traditional business. The evidence demonstrates that the ILECs have responded to the Telecommunications Act 1996, and to the threat of market entry it has created, through entry deterrence. This strategic behaviour has been successful in providing ILECs with protection of their monopolistic markets so far.
Keywords: Strategic behavior of incumbents; Local exchange competition; Entry deterrence
JEL Classification: L96, L51, L13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation