Toward Meaningful Cable Competition: Getting Beyond the Monopoly Morass

76 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2003 Last revised: 24 Feb 2009

See all articles by Reza Dibadj

Reza Dibadj

University of San Francisco - School of Law


This article argues that poor regulation has thwarted competition among cable providers. It begins by laying out the history of cable regulation to show that the regulatory framework was created by a series of ad hoc, often contradictory, policies. It then surveys the markets for video programming and broadband access to show that precious little competition exists today. Moving to an economic analysis of the industry, it highlights the surprising irony that despite years of anti-competitive maneuvering, even the incumbent players are facing financial uncertainty. The paper also proposes a new regulatory paradigm based on economic and technological reality. Finally, it discusses the legal authority to implement such a framework, addressing potential federalism and constitutional issues. The overarching goal is to provide a starting point for a regulatory regime that can benefit not only society and new entrants, but also ironically, incumbents themselves.

Keywords: cable industry, regulation, competition, law and economics

JEL Classification: K10, L10, L20, L50

Suggested Citation

Dibadj, Reza, Toward Meaningful Cable Competition: Getting Beyond the Monopoly Morass. New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Vol. 6, p. 245, 2003, Available at SSRN:

Reza Dibadj (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States
415-422-5253 (Phone)

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