Path dependence and independent utility regulation: the case of Danish energy and telecommunications regulation

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Christian Lyhne Ibsen, Lauge Skovgaard Poulsen

The establishment of the Danish independent regulatory authorities for the energy and telecommunications sectors was based upon EU directives as part of their liberalisation process. Following the concepts of transaction costs and path dependency this article analyses differences in independence between the two authorities - the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority (Energitilsynet) and the National IT and Telecommunications Agency (IT- og Telestyrelsen) respectively. We find that the state's negligible interest in the energy sector until the 1970s formed the basis for strong energy companies capable of influencing regulation in their interest. This condition made DERA relatively dependent on commercial interests compared to NITA. In contrast, the state had an early interest in controlling and regulating telecommunications services, which meant strong control of the telecommunications companies and a regulation contingent upon political interests that has continued to this day. We therefore suggest that sector-specific institutional processes have caused differences between the regulatory institutions mediating the influence of the EU.
TidsskriftScandinavian Economic History Review
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)41-63
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2007

ID: 14997197