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Competition, Regulation and the Interests of Consumers

Governments, faced with problems which elicit public concern, are all too ready to pass restrictive legislation, establish supervisory committees and commissions, or pass difficult issues to regulators of particular sectors of the economy. In the course of time, the probable outcome is a huge regulatory edifice, involving massive compliance costs for firms and individuals, and striking at the roots of economic change by severely hindering entrepreneurship.

The media industries in all their forms are favoured candidates for regulation. Governments seem unwilling to let markets in media work, claiming imperfections and failures which require regulation.

But what substance is there in these claims? To what extent is regulation feasible, given that technological advance is blurring the dividing lines among different forms of media, for example concentrations of power through dominant owners, that market processes cannot be trusted to protect consumers?

Contents

Media Concentration and Diversity by Michael Beesley
Copyright, Competition and the Media by Dan Goyder
Digital Technology in the Media Markets: The Consumers Liberator? by Malcolm Matson
The Future of Public Service Broadcasting by David Sawers
A Policy Framework for the Media Industries by William Shew and Irwin Stelzer



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