The Oligopoly Problem

I wrote about oligopoly power in the telecom and cable TV industry back in January. The issue is not any one particular way they price gouge you but the structure of the sector as a whole. As an oligopoly all the firms involved can really choose to gouge you any number of ways, you don't have any other options.

Tim Wu's latest post at the New Yorker suggests a potential regulatory solution:

The rise of the American oligopoly makes it an important time to reëxamine how antitrust enforcers and regulators think about concentrated industries. Here’s a simple proposal: when members of a concentrated industry act in parallel, their conduct should be treated like that of a hypothetical monopoly. Of course, that doesn’t make anything necessarily illegal, but abusive or anticompetitive conduct shouldn’t get a free pass just because there are three companies involved instead of one.