1,779 research outputs found

    The Net Neutrality Debate: Twenty Five Years after United States v. AT&T and 120 Years after the Act to Regulate Commerce

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    Apparent ignorance of more than a century of economic history now threatens the competitive constitution of the Internet under the guise of "net neutrality." Net neutrality is a slogan that stands for the proposition that the Internet and physical means of access to it should be available to all on uniform, non-discriminatory terms. Proponents of net neutrality fear, first, that access to bottlenecks, such as the "last mile" to the home, will be monopolized and second, that the successful monopolist will seek to favor its own vertical services by excluding or disfavoring others. Net neutrality is their answer to these threats. But the architects of the concept of net neutrality have simply resurrected the traditional na

    Local Broadband Access: Primum Non Nocere or Primum Processi - A Property Rights Approach

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    High-speed or "broadband" Internet access currently is provided, at the local level, chiefly by cable television and telephone companies, often in competition with each other. Wireless and satellite providers have a small but growing share of this business. An influential coalition of economic interests and academics have proposed that local broadband Internet access providers be prohibited from restricting access to their systems by upstream suppliers of Internet services. A recent term for this proposal is "net neutrality." We examine the potential costs and benefits of such a policy from an economic welfare perspective. Using a property rights approach, we ask whether transactions costs in the market for access rights are likely to be significant, and if so, whether owners of physical local broadband platforms are likely to be more or less efficient holders of access rights than Internet content providers. We conclude that transactions costs are likely to be lower if access rights are assigned initially to platform owners rather than content providers. In addition, platform hardware owners are likely to be more efficient holders of these rights because they can internalize demand-side interactions among content products. Further, failure to permit platform owners to control access threatens to result in inadequate incentives to invest in, to maintain, and to upgrade local broadband platforms. Inefficiently denying platform owners the ability to own access rights implies a need for price regulation; otherwise, there will be incentives to use pricing to circumvent the constraint on rights ownership. Price regulation is itself known to induce welfare losses through adaptive behavior of the constrained firm. The impact on welfare might produce a worse result than the initial problem, assuming one existed. Much of the academic interest in net neutrality arises from the belief that the open architecture of the Internet under current standards has been responsible for its remarkable success, and a wish to preserve this openness. We point out that the openness of the Internet was an unintended consequence of its military origins, and that other, less open, architectures might have been even more successful. A policy of denying platform owners the ability to own access rights could freeze the architecture of the Internet, preventing it from adapting to future technological and economic developments. Finally, we examine the net neutrality issue from the perspective of the "essential facility doctrine," a tool of the common law of antitrust. The doctrine establishes conditions under which federal courts will mandate access by competitors to the monopoly platform of a vertically-integrated firm. Because local broadband Internet access is not today a bottleneck monopoly (there are several competitors and the market is at an early stage of development), the essential facilities doctrine would not permit reassignment of access rights from platform owners to competitors. We conclude that "net neutrality" is a welfare-reducing policy proposal.Technology and Industry, Regulatory Reform

    Antitrust in China: The Problem of Incentive Compatibility

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    This paper reviews China's recent efforts to enact a competition policy (antitrust) law. We focus on three issues: (1) What is the substance of the proposed law, and how does it differ from existing antitrust law in other countries, (2) How will the law be implemented or enforced, and how will those who must implement this law interpret their mandate, and (3) What will be the likely effects of this law given China's unique history and cultural heritage. We emphasize China's economic, legal and regulatory contexts in which an antitrust law may be enforced. Our central focus is the problem of establishing a substantive and procedural legal framework that is incentive-compatible with economic efficiency and growth. The policy debate on antitrust within the Chinese government is not public. An unofficial draft of the proposed law was widely circulated outside China in 2003 and was the subject of a public commentary by the American Bar Association. A slightly revised draft was submitted for deliberation to the State Council in March 2004 (See comments from Shang Ming, Director of the newly established Antitrust Investigative Office in the Ministry of Commerce, on September 16, 2004, available at http://big5.china.com.cn/chinese/law/661991.htm).The changes from the prior draft seem to have chiefly to do with which agency of the government will administer the law. At this time, no further information is available to us. Our comments on the "proposed law" are therefore based on the version that has already circulated. We find a number of respects in which the draft law could be improved, both to increase its clarity and to make its enforcement more consistent with the goal of achieving improvements in economic efficiency. We also find much merit in the draft, especially its strong focus on reducing anticompetitive practices of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and other government bodies. However, our major difficulty with the new law is that, in the absence of a tradition of reliance on the rule of law, Chinese and foreign enterprises will find it very difficult to rely on the antitrust statute or the actions of the courts in China as a basis for predicting the antitrust liability that might result from various business practices. Therefore, the principal vector by which antitrust law (or indeed any law) affects economic behavior is absent from the Chinese scene. Unless the bureaucracy that enforces the new antitrust law actively pursues a policy of consistent enforcement based on written guidelines, stare decisis, or other sources of predictability, the substance of the statute itself will have little significance. That outcome would represent a significant loss for the economic welfare of the Chinese people.Technology and Industry, Regulatory Reform, Other Topics

    Imported Antitrust

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    Professor Gal, who teaches at the University of Haifa, has produced a delightfully clear and remarkably sensible book devoted to the problems of formulating competition policy, or antitrust law, in such small economies as Israel. Appreciating her contribution requires some background, which I will sketch out before describing the book in greater detail. Also, because Professor Gal has chosen to apply herself in this book to a problem of sharply limited scope, I will attempt to generalize some of her insights

    China\u27s Competition Policy Reforms: The Anti-Monopoly Law and Beyond

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    In August 2007, China adopted the Antimonopoly Law, its first comprehensive antitrust legislation, thirteen years after the drafting of the law began. Such a protracted legislative process is highly unusual in China, and can only be explained by the controversies the law presents. This paper discusses the fundamental issues in China’s economy that give rise to the challenges China faced in the drafting and adoption of the Antimonopoly Law. Those fundamental issues include the role of state-owned enterprises, perceived excessive competition, mergers and acquisitions by foreign companies, administrative monopolies, and the enforcement of the Antimonopoly Law. How China will enforce the Antimonopoly Law in light of those fundamental issues will determine the effectiveness of the law and define the parameters of China’s future competition policies

    China\u27s Competition Policy Reforms: The Anti-Monopoly Law and Beyond

    Get PDF
    In August 2007, China adopted the Antimonopoly Law, its first comprehensive antitrust legislation, thirteen years after the drafting of the law began. Such a protracted legislative process is highly unusual in China, and can only be explained by the controversies the law presents. This paper discusses the fundamental issues in China’s economy that give rise to the challenges China faced in the drafting and adoption of the Antimonopoly Law. Those fundamental issues include the role of state-owned enterprises, perceived excessive competition, mergers and acquisitions by foreign companies, administrative monopolies, and the enforcement of the Antimonopoly Law. How China will enforce the Antimonopoly Law in light of those fundamental issues will determine the effectiveness of the law and define the parameters of China’s future competition policies

    Vitamin B12

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    What is vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water soluble vitamin required for several physiological processes, including normal nervous system functioning, and red blood cell development and maturation. It has antioxidant effects, is a co-factor in mitochondrial energy metabolism, and contributes to DNA synthesis, the methylation cycle, and epigenetic regulation. 1 2 B12 is present in foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs, and milk, or via food fortification. Healthy adults require an average intake of 4-7 mcg daily to maintain B12 status. 3 4 Indications for B12 treatment, administration routes, and preparations Treatment with B12 may be required for a variety of reasons (table 1).</p

    Functional connectivity dynamics slow with descent from wakefulness to sleep

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    © 2019 El-Baba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The transition from wakefulness to sleep is accompanied by widespread changes in brain functioning. Here we investigate the implications of this transition for interregional functional connectivity and their dynamic changes over time. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI was used to measure brain functional activity of 21 healthy participants as they transitioned from wakefulness into sleep. fMRI volumes were independent component analysis (ICA)-decomposed, yielding 42 neurophysiological sources. Static functional connectivity (FC) was estimated from independent component time courses. A sliding window method and k-means clustering (k = 7, L2-norm) were used to estimate dynamic FC. Static FC in Wake and Stage-2 Sleep (NREM2) were largely similar. By contrast, FC dynamics across wake and sleep differed, with transitions between FC states occurring more frequently during wakefulness than during NREM2. Evidence of slower FC dynamics during sleep is discussed in relation to sleep-related reductions in effective connectivity and synaptic strength

    Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios in polygenetic carbonate allochems from a Michigan marl lake

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    Rapid accumulation of CaCO3 is occurring in Littlefield Lake, a marl lake located in central Michigan. The sediment, which is 95% CaCO3, primarily consists of eight different genetic groups of carbonate allochems. These include calcite muds, sands, algal oncoids and Chara encrustations, as well as the dominant aragonitic gastropods Valvota tricarinota. Gyraulus deflectus and Amnicola integra. and the dominant aragonitic pelecypod Sphaerium partumeium. Samples of each of these groups were analyzed for Ca, Sr and Mg. Molar Mg/Ca ratios are primarily controlled by allochem mineralogy, with calcitic forms having Mg/Ca ratios 5-10 times larger than aragonitic (shelled) forms. The Sr/Ca ratios are primarily controlled by biochemical fractionation, and are significantly lower than Sr/Ca ratios of inorganically precipitated aragonite from other settings. Partition coefficients were determined for both Sr and Mg for each carbonate allochem group and, based on comparisons with results reported by other workers, the partition coefficients determined here are generally considered `typical' or representative values for biogeneous freshwater carbonates. An analysis of variance of the data indicates that most genera and species of carbonate-secreting organisms in marl lakes have highly characteristic Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios. These ratios can potentially serve as geochemical tracers in future investigations of lacustrine carbonate diagenesis. Both Sr and Mg are influenced by grain size and/or surface area, probably due to the presence of these elements in non-lattice-held (exchangeable) positions.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/24453/1/0000727.pd
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