Letter to Chairman Wheeler: Economic Evidence on Competition in Communications Markets and Implications for Key Policy Issues

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Letter to Chairman Wheeler: Economic Evidence on Competition in Communications Markets and Implications for Key Policy Issues by Robert D. Atkinson (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation), Kevin W. Caves (Navigant Economics), Robert W. Crandall (Brookings Institution ; AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies), Wayne Crews (Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)), Everett Ehrlich (ESC Company), Jeffrey A. Eisenach (American Enterprise Institute ; George Mason University School of Law), Gerald R. Faulhaber (University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School,) Robert W. Hahn (University of Oxford, Smith School ; Georgetown University), Kevin A. Hassett (American Enterprise Institute (AEI)), Steve Pociask (The American Consumer Institute), Hal J. Singer (Navigant Economics LLC), Timothy J. Tardiff (Advanced Analytical Consulting Group,) Leonard Waverman (Berkeley Research Group), and Dennis Weisman (Kansas State University - Department of Economics)

ABSTRACT: Dear Chairman Wheeler:

Congratulations on your confirmation as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. As economists who study and write about communications policy and regulation, we agree with your comment during your confirmation hearing that “the role of the FCC has evolved from acting in the absence of competition to dictate the market, to promoting and protecting competition with appropriate oversight.” The economic evidence on this point is clear: in all but a few areas, communications networks no longer have the characteristics of natural monopolies, and should no longer be regulated as public utilities. Indeed, the convergence of the communications sector into the dynamic, intensely competitive Internet ecosystem is now virtually complete.

We write because we believe these economic facts have important implications for some of the key challenges facing you and the Commission in the months and years ahead.