Restructuring regulation: technological convergence and European telecommunications and broadcasting markets

Hills, J. and Michalis, M. 2000. Restructuring regulation: technological convergence and European telecommunications and broadcasting markets. Review of International Political Economy. 7 (3), pp. 434-464.

TitleRestructuring regulation: technological convergence and European telecommunications and broadcasting markets
AuthorsHills, J. and Michalis, M.
Abstract

This article looks at the European Union (EU) policy of technological 'convergence', concentrating on the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting. The underlying theme is that regulatory agencies are political actors and their actions need to be analysed in the context of who benefits from the policy outcome. In addition, regulatory regimes are themselves variables in bureaucratic/institutional turf wars and in the political process. The specific case discussed here of DG XIII of the European Commission responsible for telecommunications provides an example of attempts by a regulatory agency to broaden the scope of its regulatory reach. It shows how it utilized a theoretical reconstruction of markets to justify alterations both at EU and at national level in regulatory regimes that would have had direct consequences in benefiting its allied telecommunications and Internet operators and in disadvantaging public service broadcasters. The article discusses the ensuing reactions to this intervention. It concludes that DG XIII's attempts to redefine markets and regulatory regimes in its own interests and in the interests of its traditional industrial allies have not only been thwarted, but have strengthened the sectoral-based regulatory regime it wished to displace, and have also undermined its own credibility as a regulator.

JournalReview of International Political Economy
Journal citation7 (3), pp. 434-464
ISSN0969-2290
Year2000
PublisherRoutledge
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/09692290050174015
Publication dates
Published2000

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