Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulation of Network Utilities
Publisher:The MIT Press
Network utilities, such as electricity, telephones, and gas, are public utilities that require a fixed network to deliver their services. Because consumers have no choice of network, they risk exploitation by network owners. Once invested, however, a network's capital is sunk, and the bargaining advantage shifts from investor to consumer. The investor, fearing expropriation, may be reluctant to invest. The tension between consumer and investor can be side-stepped by state ownership. Alternatively, private ownership and consumers' political power can be reconciled through regulation. Either way, network utilities operate under terms set by the state. David Newbery argues that price-setting rules comprise only part of the policy agenda. Network utilities pose special problems of ownership and regulation. He discusses the history of ownership and regulation, privatization, and theories of regulation. Examining three network utilities in detail--telecoms, electricity, and gas--he...
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