The pan-European rush to create a new generation of communications monopolies and put up prices

Further to my recent blog on why the possible BT – O2 or EE merger is born of weakness or strength, one of my readers has drawn my attention to Benoit Felten’s recent analysis of the pan-european attempts to shut out competition from new network operators and create a new generation of monopolies to protect the past from the future. It is well worth reading for its demolition of the idea that competition is bad for investment because it depresses prices.

A contrast between the history of the railways in Britain, the Continent and the United States also illustrates that while competition may not always be good for investors, it appears to encourage rather than deter overall investment. It also leads to faster, better cheaper and more reliable services and pulls through economic growth. Has the time come for some trust-busters, akin to those who broke up the US railroad cartels before the First World War?