Business – international
Does your country have free markets? Are there any, and if so how influential, are state owned firms? Has there been deregulation or privatization in any sectors in your country? What impact have they had on your country’s economy?
Example: In the United States, a well-known firm is the AT&T (the American Telephone and Telegraph Company). For over 100 years, AT&T had a monopoly on all telecommunications in the United States. While technically not a state owned enterprise, due to government regulations, by default AT&T became the only provider of telephone service. In the early years of the last century, this helped Americans because high telephone fees in the cities subsidized the building of telephone lines to the rural areas (where there were fewer customers). However, by the mid 1980’s, due to advances in technology, a monopoly was not desirable because it hindered innovation. In response, an anti-trust lawsuit was placed against AT&T by its much smaller competitors, which ultimately resulted in deregulation that provided many firms entry to the telecom market. This resulted in massive innovations in the market, including the successful implementation of mobile phone technology.