Over the last decade, the European Union has undertaken major market-opening reforms in the area of network industries. The liberalization process has now been completed in the air transport and electronic communications sectors and has achieved considerable progress in other network industries, such as postal services, energy (electricity and gas), and rail transport. Creating competition in network industries is not an easy matter, however. Because they benefit from certain advantages such as a large initial market share and control of essential facilities, incumbents typically retain substantial market power in a number of relevant markets and may even use their position to prevent others from engineering such markets.
Controlling market power is thus one of a number of key concerns in network industries. It can be achieved in two main ways; either through the adoption and implementation of sector-specific rules or through the application of competition rules. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, but it is a combination of the two that generally prevents incumbents from abusing their market power in liberalized markets. Competition law and sector-specific regulation provide for the application of remedies on incumbents or other operators holding significant market power. Such remedies are either structural or a behavioural. In some occasions they will apply ex ante, while in others ex post.
This book comprises a collection of outstanding essays dealing with the complex legal and economic issues raised by remedies in network industries. While some of these essays analyse remedies from a generic point of view, others focus on specific remedies applied specifically in particular sectors. The sectors covered in this volume include electronic communications, postal services, energy (electricity and gas), and air transport. The final paper also presents a discussion of the United States approach to remedies in network industries.
The essays comprised in this book have been written by leading academics (lawyers and economists), as well as private practitioners.
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