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Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:Comparing the European Experience$
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Mark Thatcher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245680.001.0001

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The European Path to Radical Reform: Telecommunications in France, Germany, and Italy 1988–2005

The European Path to Radical Reform: Telecommunications in France, Germany, and Italy 1988–2005

Chapter:
(p.175) 9 The European Path to Radical Reform: Telecommunications in France, Germany, and Italy 1988–2005
Source:
Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:
Author(s):

Mark Thatcher (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245680.003.0010

This chapter shows how and why policy forms of internationalisation helped to undermine well-entrenched institutions in France, Germany, and Italy that had survived previous attempts at reform. Policy makers feared regulatory competition from Britain after its reforms of 1984 while EU regulation from 1988 offered occasions for change, arguments to legitimate reform, and opportunities for national champions to become international ones. Aided by these two international factors, governments and national suppliers formed broader reform coalitions that were able to overcome strong resistance and introduce sweeping institutional changes, notably privatisation of incumbent suppliers, termination of monopolies, and delegation of powers to independent sectoral agencies. Thus, by 2005, France, Germany, and Italy had broken with deeply-rooted domestic institutions that protected national suppliers from competition. Instead, they had adopted an institutional model of a liberalised market with private suppliers and independent regulatory agencies, which was similar to that in Britain but reached through a different route.

Keywords:   internationalisation, institutional reform, privatisation, liberalisation, independent regulatory agencies, EU regulation

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