Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Chapter 14: Comparative Analysis of the Market Structure of Broadcasting and Telecommunications in Japan
14. Comparative analysis of the market structure of broadcasting and telecommunications in Japan Sumiko Asai INTRODUCTION In Japan, the Ministry of Internal Aﬀairs and Communications (MIC) is in charge of setting regulations and policy for both the broadcasting and telecommunications industries. Telecommunications services are deﬁned as the transmission of information to speciﬁc persons using electrical facilities. On the other hand, broadcasting services are deﬁned as the transmission of information to non-speciﬁc persons through a wire or wireless network. Transmitting information through electrical networks is common to both telecommunications and broadcasting. However, diﬀerences in the market structure and market performance are observed between these industries. In April 1985, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT Public Corp.) was privatized, and the entry of new players into the telecommunications market was authorized.1 The prices of telecommunications services have decreased since the introduction of this competition mechanism, and users have had a lot of beneﬁts. Although the telecommunications market is actually dominated by several large-scale carriers and may not be regarded as perfect competition, even large-scale carriers are unable to maintain high proﬁt margins at present, due to price competition and the threat of potential entrants. In this respect, we may say that the Japanese telecommunications market has changed from a monopolistic to a competitive market. Broadcasting consists of terrestrial broadcasting, satellite broadcasting and cable television (CATV). While satellite broadcasting and CATV have developed recently, the most familiar medium in Japan has been terrestrial broadcast...
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