SHIM, Sunghee and OH, Jungsuk (2006): Service Bundling and the Role of Access Charge in the Broadband Internet Service Market. Published in: International Journal of Digital Economics No. 63 (September 2006): pp. 73-91.
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Using the classical Hotelling model, this paper analyzes the incentive for a CATV service provider to bundle broadband internet services when entering the broadband internet services market. In addition, the effect of such service bundling by an entrant on the market incumbent with ownership over existing bottleneck facilities is analyzed. Furthermore, an access charge that maximizes social welfare is explored and determined. Two cases are considered: in the first case, the market is fully covered; and in the second case, the market is not fully covered. With full market coverage, an entrant has an incentive for service bundling if there is sufficient service differentiation. The entrant's bundling strategy reduces the incumbent's profit. In this case, the total social welfare is independent of the level of the access charge and only has an effect of redistributing the net surplus between consumers and the incumbent. With partial market coverage, the entrant has an incentive for service bundling at a low access charge. The incumbent's profit increases if the access charge is higher than the cost of access provisioning. In this case, the total social welfare is dependent on the level of access charge and the welfare maximizing access charge is less than the unit cost of providing access.