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Pearlstein on Google

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Steven Pearlstein writes in the December 14 issue of The Washington Post that the antitrust authorities should not allow Google to make any more acquisitions.  His argument seems to be that Google is too successful and too big and therefore we need to slow it down and allow others to catch up. Pearlstein’s approach is at odds with antitrust economics and antitrust history and would likely harm both consumers and innovation. Pearlstein notes that “It is worth remembering that aggressive enforcement of the antitrust laws has been a crucial part […]

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Research Roundup: File-sharing vs. music sales, Craigslist vs. newspapers, and more

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In this edition of the Research Roundup we highlight a paper by Julie Holland Mortimer and Chris Nosko of Harvard and Alan Sorensen of Stanford GSB that analyzes music file-sharing as it relates to a well-known off-line complement: concert performances. The authors observe that “Redistribution of the digital good [music downloads] may increase demand for the complementary good [concert tickets], partially offsetting the losses due to illegal redistribution of the digital good. The implication… is that public policy aimed at promoting innovation should not ignore the impact of an innovation […]

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Peering or End of the Internet as we know It?

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One of the top tech stories in the headlines of late is the dispute between Comcast and Level 3.  For those of you who were ignoring mass media last week: the dispute is over traffic handling agreements, apparently spurred by the announcement of a deal between Level 3 and Netflix to carry the latter’s streaming video. Depending on who you listen to, the Comcast / Level 3 dispute is either a simple peering disagreement blown out of proportion or a gross violation of network neutrality principles and the beginning of […]

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25,000 Reasons Why Broadband Price Data Matter

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On Friday, TPI released Part 1 of an ongoing study of broadband prices in OECD countries.  This part of our study uses extensive data and econometric tools to test the effects of different pricing tactics.  Perhaps even more important than our results are our methods, which mark a significant step toward more mature understandings of “what we pay” for broadband in the United States and elsewhere. Our study acknowledges that “broadband” refers to service that varies widely across multiple dimensions:  Internet access is offered at different download and upload speeds, […]

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Antitrust and Vertical Integration in ‘New Economy’ Industries

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Where does a firm end and a market begin?  This existential query is discussed by Bruce Owen in “Antitrust and Vertical Integration in ‘New Economy’ Industries” released today by TPI. Referring to Adam Smith’s analogy of division of labor in 18th century pin-making, Bruce illustrates how vertical integration is inherent in all firms, and therefore cannot be viewed on its own as a predictor of market problems. So what is the take-away for regulators regarding tech and media policy? As Owen so eloquently explains: “Toadying to uninformed populist fears of […]

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Research Roundup: Entrepreneurship, Clusters, Competition, and more

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If you only have time for one article from today’s Research Roundup—and especially if you don’t have the patience for something technical—make it the framework for thinking about entrepreneurship laid out by Henrekson and Sanandaji in the introductory chapter to Institutional Entrepreneurship (2011).  Here the editors set up a taxonomy that hinges on whether entrepreneurial activities actually create wealth (are “productive”), as well as whether they adhere to, evade, or alter prevailing institutions.  The definitions are rich enough to classify Washington insiders (including some who might frequent this blog) as […]

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One Economy

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I was delighted to be invited to One Economy’s 10th anniversary celebration at the Newseum yesterday evening.  What this organization has accomplished in only ten years is truly remarkable.  Rey Ramsey, who just stepped down as CEO, and the rest of the team there have good reason to be proud.

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Tom Lenard on five Q’s on tech

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Last week, Rob Haralson did a quick interview with TPI’s Tom Lenard for his site five Q’s on tech. Tom discusses why he thinks policymakers looking at privacy issues are going about it all wrong, network neutrality, and upcoming TPI projects. Video is here: Five Q’s with Tom Lenard, Tech Policy Institute from FiveQsOnTech.com on Vimeo.

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Antitrust and High-Tech: The Do-Not-Cold-Call List

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It has been the practice of some prominent Silicon Valley companies (and perhaps other companies as well) to refrain from “cold calling” employees of companies with whom they collaborate.  This seems like it could be a reasonable practice since companies may be less willing to enter into beneficial collaborations if they think their best employees can easily be stolen away.  In any event, the companies never agreed to refrain from talking to employees who expressed some interest in changing jobs (that would not be a cold call) or to refrain […]

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Research Roundup: Small Businesses and Net Employment Growth, and more

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In Washington, pretty much everyone agrees that private sector job growth comes mostly from small businesses.  Every president since Ronald Reagan has echoed this proposition in a major speech, supported by literature showing an inverse relationship between job growth and firm size dating back to 1979.  However, according to Haltiwanger, Jarmin, and Miranda, this popular maxim of economic policy just isn’t true.  The authors employ a novel dataset from the Census Bureau to find that when controlling for firm age there is “no systematic relationship between net growth rates and […]

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