This comprehensive book contains case studies on the evolution of competition policy, with an emphasis on merger policy, for seven major US industries that have experienced substantial deregulation in the past forty years – electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, railroads, airlines, hospitals and banking. Also included is a comparison of the EU’s experience in attempting to bring about competition in the energy, finance, and airline industries.
The contributors to the volume, each a recognized expert on the industry examined, explore the positive and negative implications of the substitution of market-oriented processes for historic patterns of command and control regulation. The chapters reveal clear similarities in the economic, legal and public policy issues that have arisen following deregulation of these economic sectors. Together they provide a good basis to discern the consistency of the problems and the relative success of differing responses to these issues over a range of industries going through similar transformation. While taking a basically positive view of the movement away from direct regulation, the contributors identify a number of continuing problems with achieving workable competition in these industries.
The thorough analyses presented here will be of great value to law, economics, and political science researchers interested in deregulation, economic consultants advising government agencies or private parties, attorneys who focus on deregulated industries, policy planners at the agencies overseeing these industries, and students in advanced seminars on economic regulation.