This innovative study of the role of competition law in the telecommunications
industry starts from a classic perspective: While, in principle, regulation
benefits social welfare and efficient allocation of resources, past regulatory
experience shows that regulation can be flawed and lead to welfare harm rather
than good. In the telecommunications industry specifically, inappropriately
designed sector-specific remedies and regulatory delays in the introduction of
new telecommunications services can hold up the development of the market
towards effective competition and could incur considerable welfare losses. In
addition, conventional antitrust analysis still lags behind the dynamic nature
of the electronic communications markets.
Milena Stoyanova sets out to establish a new understanding of the role of
sector-specific regulation and competition law enforcement in the electronic
communications sector, addressing such questions as the following:
• Why a new regulatory framework?
• Are sectoral regulation and competition law enforcement mutually exclusive
• Why should electronic communications markets be regulated to conform to
competition law principles?
• What does competition law add to sector-specific regulation?
• What is the relationship or proportion between regulation and competition
An overview of the telecommunications liberalization process initiated at
European Community level reveals such problems as a divergent approach of
national regulatory authorities in the application of one and the same norms,
inability of competition authorities to rightly assess the technicalities
underlying a competition problem, and difficulty in carrying out a periodical
oversight of compliance with the competition law remedies. The author
discusses the legal basis and rationale for the application of the essential
facility doctrine to the electronic communications sector, and argues for new
regulatory responses to the emergence of collective dominant firms in an
oligopolistic setting and to the potential of multifirm conduct to restrict
competition through price squeezing and other tactics. The book concludes with
a specific case study on the harmonisation of recent Bulgarian legislation
with the European Community sector-specific and competition law regimes à
propos the electronic communications sector.
Effective competition in the electronic communications market is crucial for
securing the dynamic role of the entire information and communications
technologies sector, of which electronic communications form the largest
segment. The sound and well-informed recommendations in this book ably address
common and persistent problems, making Competition Problems in Liberalized
Telecommunications a forward-looking mainstay for practitioners and other
professionals involved in all aspects of the field.
Introduction. 1. The Over-Regulation Trend and Ways to Avoid It.
2. Relevance of the Essential Facility Doctrine as a Remedy of
Anticompetitive Unilateral Refusal of Access. 3. Restrictions to Market
Access and Refusal to Supply Resulting from Multifirm Conduct. 4.
Prevention of Competition through Anticompetitive Pricing: The Price Squeeze
Abuse. 5. Challenges Facing Regulation and Competition Law Enforcement
in the Electronic Communications Sector in Bulgaria. Final Conclusion.