The benefits of competition

Competition means users enjoy innovation and lower prices. Take broadband Internet access, for example. Cable and telephone companies are slugging it out, and their customers are the beneficiaries.

Oh, wait. It turns out the price of DSL high-speed Internet connections in the US actually rose last year. (And, according the the same study, even though the cost of carrying ordinary voice phone calls is plummeting, the average US local phone bill also went up between 1991 and 2004.)

Has economics been proven wrong? Someone call Friedrich Hayek! After all, it couldn’t be that the raging “competition” in today’s US broadband market is more of a regulated oligopoly, could it? Could it?!?!