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OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy

  • Discontinued

This journal draws on the best of the recent work done for and by the OECD Committee on Competition Law and Policy. Its articles provide insight into the thinking a competition law enforcers, and focus on the practical application of competition law and policy. Here’s what Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission said about this new journal when it was launched: “Global competition is the wave of the future, and comparative analysis of the laws and practices of various members of the worldwide community of nations is a necessary corollary. This new OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy, compiled from OECD Round Table discussions, summaries of recent developments, and articles on topics of special interest, will introduce regulators, practitioners, and scholars to different regulatory approaches around the world and will allow us to consider in a more informed way the strengths and weaknesses of our own systems.”

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

English French

Non-Commercial Services Obligations and Liberalisation

Universal service obligations are common in many of the infrastructure sectors. The obligations are often cited as a justification for limiting entry of new providers because the new providers would cherry-pick the highprofit customers who provide the basis for subsidization of another group of customers. When obligations are beneficial, there are a number of policy traps that can be encountered: Obligations are often poorly defined and not well-focused on the customers who are meant to receive help; Obligations are frequently defined narrowly in ways that disfavour new technologies and cause extensive waste; and financing for the noncommercial obligations can often be raised in more efficient ways than through cross-subsidies and can often be spent on multiple service providers rather than one preferred provider. Falling into these traps can create incentives for over-investment in certain infrastructure technology and under-investment in other technology. This paper provides guidance on the competition problems that can arise from universal service obligations and on some ways to limit these problems. This OECD Competition Committee roundtable was held in October 2003.

English French

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