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Thursday, 5 February 2015

New York City Media Seminar: Vertical integration

At last week's New York City Media SeminarGreg Crawford from the University of Zurich presented a fantastic paper on vertical integration yesterday. The paper examined whether and when an integrated content owner and content distributor would foreclose their content from a rival distributor. They collected data on the availability of regional sports networks on multi channel cable and satellite services across the US. They definitely find evidence that the integrated entities tend to optimize the joint profit of the enterprise (maybe not fully but almost). Yet, for this particular content it is not obvious that this necessarily leads to foreclosure of content. This depends on the demand (consumers' willingness to pay for the content). The paper is remarkable in its treatment of institutional details - rarely seen in empirical work, especially for such a complicated problem. And, again, it shows that regulation is extremely complex for these industries.

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