Competition Ethics: Who Counts as a Competitor?

business_ethics_highlights_2If you take seriously Joseph Heath’s market failures approach to business ethics, the concept of competition takes on added importance in your analysis of business ethics issues. This piece raises the interesting question of what counts as competition for a cable company. Is it only competition from other cable providers or also from non-cable TV providers, as well? For the economic analysis-inclined, how imperfect does a substitute have to be before it is no longer in competition with a given product? >>>

LINK: Broadcasters Association Sues FCC Over Cable Competition Rules (by Chris Morran in Consumerist)

Under federal law, a city can regulate cable TV rates for its residents if there is not “effective competition” in that market — that is, if one cable operator dominated the TV landscape in that area. But the Federal Communications Commission recently revised its way of looking at things so that it now presumes that satellite providers offer effective competition for the cable industry. This change hasn’t gone over well with broadcasters, who have petitioned a federal appeals court to challenge the FCC.

What do you think?

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