Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
If You Like the Airlines’ Consolidation, You Might Love an Even More Concentrated Broadband and Cable Marketplace
Consider the consequences on innovation and competition If AT&T has succeeded in acquiring TMobile. Does anyone (including Wall Street Journal editorial writers) believe consumers would enjoy the benefits of data rollovers, cheaper rates, lower roaming fees and the option to bring their own devices?
In a concentrated industry, operators have great incentives to match each other’s rates and service. That’s what consumers get from the spate of recent airline mergers. Even the industry maverick Southwest has “gotten with the program” on fares and many of the highly lucrative extra fees. Call it collusion, consensus, or conscious parallelism: the airlines offer roughly the same fares and fees? Can you recall a highly advertised sale in the last year?
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Set out below are 5 reasons while subscribers, in particular, personify and vilify the company.
Like many companies, Comcast offers “promotional” short term inducements for new subscribers. Unlike most companies, Comcast does not remind you when the “actual” rates kick in. Subscribers who receive a 100% rate increase are not happy with the company, but Comcast knows that most won’t cut the cord.
The company also has a penchant for making lemonade out of regulatory lemons. For example, Comcast wants everyone to know how much it has embraced network neutrality, going so far as to extend it to Time Warner properties. Never mind that the company opposed the FCC at every step, litigated the issue and triggered the campaign for network neutrality by lying to the FCC about whether Comcast used tactics to block BitTorent traffic.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
It appears that Google soon will launch a lower cost, metered wireless service. See http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-set-to-unveil-wireless-service-1429660082. The company has made an impact in data transmission infrastructure with Google Fiber, albeit only in the 8 metropolitan areas it now serves. See https://fiber.google.com/about/. Google may repeat its success on a slow and incremental basis.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Theory conflicts with my frequent—and less than satisfactory—encounters with large firms. In the last two weeks I have travelled extensively and regularly have encountered instances where large firms clearly and intentionally scrimp on customer service, management of web sites and possible maintenance of aircraft.
Over my 22 years at Penn State, one out of three or four airplane departures from and to my little down has triggered a delay, or cancellation. On two recent occasions, staff at United Express’s Commuteair, took over 90 minutes to attempt a light bulb repair. They achieved success in one instance and gave up in the other. Mainline United cannot seem to get its old or new inflight entertainment systems to work: the audio jacks break, or the new Wi-Fi system doesn’t work. On an 8 hour flight from Frankfort to Washington, Dulles a light bulb turned on and off repeatedly for the duration of trip. Minor inconveniences, but what do all these screw up say about United’s commitment to maintenance big and small?
Friday, March 20, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015