In the recent past, the cable industry has exhibited a pronounced tendency toward increased vertical integration and concentration of cable system ownership. As a result, the 1992 Cable Act proposed and the Federal Communications Commission implemented restrictions on such activity. Two antitrust concerns include the size of programming discounts offered to large multiple-system operators and price and carriage discrimination by vertically integrated programming networks. The empirical model in this paper attempts to systematically measure the effect of ownership concentration and vertical integration on the programming cost and price of cable operators. We find that concentration and integration lower the programming cost to cable systems affiliated with larger multiple-system operators. These discounts are partially passed along to consumers in the form of lower prices.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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