Information Economics and Policy 32 (2015) 1
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Information Economics and Policy journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/iep
Big Media: Economics and Regulation of Digital Markets This special issue of Information Economics and Policy is centered around current regulatory issues in media, telecommunication and entertainment markets. Some of the papers make suggestions on the way regulation could be improved, while other papers further our understanding of the functioning of these markets. The first paper is by Miriam van der Burg and Hilde Van den Bulck. They study how decisions in media merger control are motivated and find that competition authorities increasingly pay attention to non-economic interests of consumers, but remain vague as to, first, what interests in particular are at stake; second, who the stakeholders are; and, third, how these interests are weighed. This suggests that it may be possible to increase consumer welfare by accounting for the media’s political and socio-cultural role in a more systematic way. Turning to telecommunications markets, Dongyeol Lee analyzes the competitive effect of asymmetric regulation on mobile and fixed termination charges. The analysis suggests that above-cost termination charges are likely to be beneficial to consumers when many of them actually choose between mobile and fixed networks when making calls. The following three papers are related to intellectual property in the software industry. In the first of these three papers, Nicolas Dias Gomes, Pedro Cerqueira and Luís Alçada survey the empirical literature regarding software piracy and discuss whether the findings are coherent with
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infoecopol.2015.08.001 0167-6245/Ó 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
the theoretical literature. In the second paper on software piracy, Firat Inceoglu points out that a certain level of software piracy may actually benefit an incumbent producer by making entry less profitable. The third paper by Tim Paul Thomes studies competition in the video game industry. He finds that in equilibrium, hardware producers may have an incentive to invest into their own games and make them exclusive to their respective console, and that this could lead to lower profits. The final three papers are on the music industry. Joshua Gans, in his paper, notes that empirical studies often find that software piracy leads to a decline in music revenues, while entry remains unaffected. He argues that artists change as they become successful, from emphasizing fame to emphasizing fortune. Thereafter, Jean-Benoit Zimmermann, Stephen Bazen and Laurence Bouvard survey artists whose music is diffused freely on an online platform and examine why they took this approach. Last, but not least, Marc Bourreau, Pinar Dogan and Sounman Hong study the effects of pre-release strategies where a music album is sold online and consumers can pick their own price. Their findings suggest that this leads to an increase in digital album sales, while offline sales remained unchanged. Guest Editors Jay Pil Choi Tobias J. Klein