Journal Article

The Assessment: European Networks—Competition, Interconnection, and Regulation

Dieter Helm

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 297-312
Published in print September 2001 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online September 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/17.3.297
The Assessment: European Networks—Competition, Interconnection, and Regulation

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Recent events, such as the California energy crisis, the failures of the UK's railways, and the consequences of the third‐generation (3G) mobile licence auctions, have called into question the European reliance on a strategy of network industry liberalization. Substantial concentration in energy and telecoms markets has also raised the issue of the consistency of competition policy with the creation of internal energy and communications markets. The paper considers the multiple market failures in these industries, and the problems raised by a series of national policy approaches which fail fully to reflect the economies of scale and scope and the European‐level public goods. Security of supply in energy, the roll‐out of broadband, and the gains for an overarching approach to climate change require a more European focus. This in turn will require institutional reform at the European level. Failure to address this Europe‐wide agenda will leave Europe behind the USA.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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