Discussion Papers

Wolfgang Briglauer

Generisches Referenzmodell für die Analyse relevanter Kommunikationsmärkte – Wettbewerbsökonomische Grundfragen.
Nr. 243 / Mai 2003


Under the new European regulatory communications framework coming into effect in summer 2003 market analyses will be subject to a different and much wider analytical scope. Whereas traditional market analysis has been primarily based on critical market share values, the relevant articles of the framework directive explicitly call for a more holistic and economically based perspective in carrying out competition analyses in predefined communications markets. If we imagine the three-stage analysis process described in the legal and regulatory requirements (preliminary definition of relevant communications markets, examination of effective competition on those markets and discussion of appropriate regulatory instruments based on any competition deficits), then this document is devoted to the second stage: Diagnosing the competitive situation (as described in Article 16 Paragraph 1 of the Framework Directive), which is referred to here as "competition analysis." Thus the following article first elaborates useful definitions –based on competition functions- for effective competition in communications markets (chapter 2). Building on this chapter 4 discusses institutional aspects and provides an organizational framework for conducting market analyses that is applicable to all relevant communications markets. The resulting reference model is shown to be embedded in traditional competition concepts Chapter 3).

The overall discussion clearly indicates that a spontaneous, sporadic and isolated view of the relevant markets can only yield a highly distorted picture of the actual competitive situation. Only in an orderly framework, in a systematic overview of all (relevant) competition indicators is it possible to describe and assess competition processes suitably. The quality underlying this framework will determine the quality of the decisions made in competition and regulatory policy.

The presented reference model can be regarded as a flexibly applicable analytical tool with respect to both, the available methodologies at hand as well as the market specific relevance and importance of various competition indicators. Obviously the simplicity and transparency of traditional market share analysis disappears concerning the holistic perspective underlying our reference model. A certain degree of (regulatory) judgement in weighting the various criteria will be inevitably, but therefore market analyses procedures will be subject to a wide consultation mechanisms within the new regulatory framework. [full version only available in German]

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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