Competition is the European people’s champion
Being a liberal economist today isn’t so easy. At times, it can almost feel like being a member of a sect: everybody whispers about them but nobody confesses to being one. However when I read Mrs. Kroes speech at the Digital Agenda Summit organized by ETNO and the Financial Times in October 2011, the little liberal economist hidden in me awakened.
It was a speech designed to make an impact and for sure its effect was felt far beyond the auditorium and its audience of mainly telecom incumbent execs. Personally, it reminded me of all those stories of failure we see in the Economic Faculty about the Planning State of the sixties when a good willing State thought it could pick up winners, steer investment and decide what was best for consumers. This was a bad idea then, and a bad idea now but we’ll come to that later.
So to Mrs. Kroes’ and her services ideas, which surprised many of us in the cable industry by focusing not on a ONE operator-Plus model, i.e., a competitive landscape characterized by an incumbent plus competitive networks, but instead on a single ONE network operator model consisting of just one network.