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Synopolies: The use of cryptographic technologies to impede competition in multiple jurisdictions

Cradduck, Lucy, Caelli, Bill, & McCullagh, Adrian (2008) Synopolies: The use of cryptographic technologies to impede competition in multiple jurisdictions. Forum on Public Policy Online, Spring, pp. 1-43.

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Abstract

Many jurisdictions have developed mature infrastructures, both administratively and legislatively, to promote competition. Substantial funds have been expended to monitor activities that are anticompetitive and many jurisdictions also have adopted a form of "Cartel Leniency Program", first developed by the US Federal Trade Commission, to assist in cartel detection. Further, some jurisdictions are now criminalizing cartel behaviour so that cartel participants can be held criminally liable with substantial custodial penalties imposed.

Notwithstanding these multijurisdictional approaches, a new form of possibly anticompetitive behaviour is looming.
Synergistic monopolies („synopolies‟) involve not competitors within a horizontal market but complimentors within separate vertical markets. Where two complimentary corporations are monopolists in their own market they can, through various technologies, assist each other to expand their respective monopolies thus creating a barrier to new entrants and/or blocking existing participants from further participation in that market. The nature of the technologies involved means that it is easy for this potentially anti-competitive activity to enter and affect the global marketplace. Competition regulators need to be aware of this potential for abuse and ensure that their respective competition frameworks appropriately address this activity. This paper discusses how new technologies can be used to create a synopoly.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 30740
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: monopoly, synopoly, cartel, competition, black box technology
ISSN: 1938-9809
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Networking and Communications (080503)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2010 22:46
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2012 15:54

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