Belvedere Tiburon, CA
|reply to NormanS |
Well, with 90+% of the landline market, and with 80+% of the T-1 private line & special access market, the incumbent telcos qualify as a monopoly under virtually all economic tests. No anti-trust enforcement action has ever required 100% monopoly to impose anti-trust sanctions.
As for cable, they were a government mandated monopoly in many cities--I used "state" as representative of government in general, not just States in the US. The government protected cable's dominant position aggressively by adopting "immediate build-out" requirements for new entrants that the cable companies did not have to meet themselves when they started (i.e., high barriers to entry). They also gained tremendous market power through government protection--but they weren't as subject to TA-'96 as the telcos were, in part because they lack the long history of anticompetitive conduct of the Bell System.
Overall, it's not just how many competitors you have--it's a larger test of how effectively you dominate a market. And the Baby Bells still dominate their respective markets.
VoIP--the death knell of remaining voice monopolies!