Competition Policy International’s Antitrust Chronicle recently published AACG Principal Timothy J. Tardiff’s article, Ex Ante Regulation of Digital Platforms?: Cautionary Tales from Telecommunications. The article observes that some proposals for increased economic regulation are similar to measures implemented during the United States telecommunication industry’s transition from predominantly a regulated landline monopoly providing traditional voice telephone services to one in which such services are also offered as wireless and internet-based offerings. The typically long, and sometimes shifting regulatory, legal, and political  battles that accompanied this transition are cautionary tales for evaluating similar measures in other industries with rapidly changing technology.  In particular, rapidly-changing market conditions and technology can make the factual basis and theories justifying ex ante regulation obsolete before the necessary actions to update the regulatory regime and/or defer to antitrust to deal with competition problems can be implemented.


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