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Performance of mixed oligopoly model in the context of Indian telecom industry

Chatterjee, Susmita and Datta, Debabrata and Banerjee, Ranjan (2016): Performance of mixed oligopoly model in the context of Indian telecom industry.

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The logic for state monopoly of public utilities arises from increasing returns to scale and the concern that private business in these areas results in monopolistic exploitation of consumers. The state monopoly however is fraught with the danger of production inefficiency. In this backdrop, the market form of mixed oligopoly is contemplated in markets like health, education, electricity, gas, telecommunications, etc, where public and private sector coexists. The private firms maximize profit but the public firm maximizes social welfare.

Despite this theoretical exposition, it is often observed that public firms fail to make contributions according to their potentiality. As a result the issue of social welfare gets a short shrift. While assessing the behaviour and performance of the firm in this setup we must know the objective functions and the constraints. The asymmetry of objectives between private and public firms and the asymmetry of constraints may explain the below par performance of public firms. This needs focus on the existing theoretical construct on mixed oligopoly and empirical consideration of the performance of some specific public firm. In this paper we study the state owned Indian telecom company Bharat Shanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to get an understanding of performance of mixed oligopoly.

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