While second-degree price discrimination is standard in commercial practice in many industries, consumer advocates and public interest groups have reacted with skepticism to tendencies to move away from flat rates and introduce greater tariff diversity. This paper uses time-series data to provide an empirical analysis of how the differentiation of broadband tariffs with respect to retail prices affects fixed broadband subscription. The empirical analysis is based on a unique dataset of 10,200 retail broadband offers spanning the 2003–2011 period and including 23 EU member states. Results show that an increase in tariff diversity provides a significant impetus to broadband adoption, wherefore demands by several public interest groups to limit price discrimination in broadband markets should be viewed with some caution as reduced price discrimination may come at the cost of lower penetration rates.
Journal of Regulatory Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 24, 2017
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