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LEANZ Wellington - Sky-Vodafone - Never a Sporting Chance: bundling red her...

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Bell Gully

Level 21

171 Featherston Street

Wellington, Wellington 6011

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Bell Gully and the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand, Inc. (LEANZ) invite you to an evening seminar on 18 October 2017 with Dr Bronwyn Howell entitled Never a Sporting Chance: bundling red herrings in the Sky-Vodafone merger analysis based on a series of papers by Bronwyn Howell and Petrus Potgieter presented recently in Japan, Europe and the USA.

About the topic:

The potential for bundling of Sky sport content with Vodafone broadband in order to foreclose competition in (particularly) the fixed broadband markets recently led to the Commerce Commission declining the firms' merger application. The authors contend that the Commission incorrectly determined the relevant markets because of the flawed assumption that the two products would be tied, as per the bundling models used for the assessment of the use of market power by an upstream firm in downstream markets applied to inform infrastructure and service unbundling in telecommunications markets (e.g. Whinston, 1990; Choi, 2008). The form of bundling relevant for the Sky-Vodafone merger is mixed bundling (Prince & Greenstein, 2014), where the bundled products were available for sale prior to the merger application. Mixed bundling expands the number of markets that must be considered when determining which are relevant for both merger and other competition analyses (Pereira & Vareda, 2013). This makes empirical analysis more complicated but not impossible. The authors propose the use of simulation analyses as a complementary means of informing the analysis of competition law cases where mixed bundling is both extant and expected to arise as a consequence of the merger. An example if its use in the Sky-Vodafone will be demonstrated.

About the speaker/authors:

Bronwyn Howell will present on the topic. She is a faculty member at Victoria University's School of Management. She is a Board Member and is Secretary to the Board of the International Telecommunications Society, a Law and Economics Association of New Zealand Fellow, Senior Research Associate of the Public Utility Research Center, Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida, and Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. She has undertaken a variety of consulting projects for both public and private firms in New Zealand and internationally, and has participated by invitation in forums and regulatory proceedings in New Zealand, the United States, the South Pacific, South Africa and for the African Development Bank. She was formerly General Manager of the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competiton and Regulation.

Co-author Petrus Potgieter is Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at the University of South Africa. He is a Board Member of the International Telecommunications Society, has participated in regulatory processes in South Africa and internationally, a member of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa, an elected member of the South African Academy for Science and Arts (in Afrikaans: Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns) and contributor to the International Media Concentration project of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information.

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Bell Gully

Level 21

171 Featherston Street

Wellington, Wellington 6011

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