nep-reg New Economics Papers
on Regulation
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
24 papers chosen by
Christopher Decker
Oxford University

  1. Electricity Retail Rate Design in a Decarbonized Economy: An Analysis of Time-Of-Use and Critical Peak Pricing By Tim Schittekatte; Dharik S. Mallapragada; Paul L. Joskow; Richard Schmalensee
  2. Platform Oligopoly with Endogenous Homing: Implications for Mergers and Free Entry By Takanori ADACHI; Susumu SATO; Mark J. TREMBLAY
  3. Unburdening regulation: the impact of regulatory simplification on photovoltaic adoption in Italy By Federica Daniele; Alessandra Pasquini; Stefano Clò; Enza Maltese
  4. Fair cost sharing: big tech vs telcos By Jullien, Bruno; Bouvard, Matthieu
  5. Market Effects of Sponsored Search Auctions By Motta, Massimo; Penta, Antonio
  6. Upgrading the ICT Regulatory Framework: Toward Accelerated and Inclusive Digital Connectivity By Serafica, Ramonette B.; Oren, Queen Cel A.
  7. Electricity grid tariffs for electrification in households: Bridging the gap between cross-subsidies and fairness By Claire-Marie Bergaentzl\'e; Philipp Andreas Gunkel; Mohammad Ansarin; Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal; Henrik Klinge Jacobsen
  8. Recent Advances in the Theory of Third-Degree Price Discrimination: A Brief Survey By Takanori ADACHI
  9. A Dynamic Model of Predation By Rey, Patrick; Spiegel, Yossi; Stahl, Konrad
  10. Should I stay or should I go? Migrating away from an incumbent platform By Jacques Crémer; Gary Biglaiser; André Veiga
  11. Measuring Public Procurement Rules and Practices : Benchmarking a Recurrent Infrastructure Contract By Nogues Comas,Antoni Albert; Mendes Dos Santos,Nuno Filipe
  12. Relative-Performance Delegation Destabilizes Upstream Collusion By Lee, Jen-Yao; Wang, Leonard F. S.; Sun, Ji
  13. The Design and Regulation of Exchanges: A Formal Approach By Mohit Garg; Suneel Sarswat
  14. The Price Effects of Banning Price Parity Clauses in the EU: Evidence from International Hotel Groups By Mantovani, Andrea; Reggiani, Carlo; Broocks, Annette; Duch-Brown, Nestor; Ma, Peiyao
  15. Regulating Personal Data : Data Models and Digital Services Trade By Ferracane,Martina Francesca; Van Der Marel,Erik Leendert
  16. Walking a tightrope: financial regulation, climate change, and the transition to a low-carbon economy By Demekas, Dimitri; Grippa, Pierpaolo
  17. Jugendliche fordern mehr Kontrolle für große Plattformunternehmen By Engels, Barbara
  18. The Breakup of the Bell System and its Impact on US Innovation By Watzinger, Martin; Schnitzer, Monika
  19. Do No-Surcharge Rules Increase Effective Retail Prices? By Takanori ADACHI; Mark J. TREMBLAY
  20. From Rules to Regs: A Structural Topic Model of Collusion Research By W. Benedikt Schmal
  21. Dark commercial patterns By OECD
  22. The Effect of Input Price Discrimination on Retail Prices: Theory and Evidence from France By Allain, Marie-Laure; Chambolle, Claire; Turolla, Stéphane
  23. Competition Reform and Household Welfare : A Microsimulation Analysis of the Telecommunication Sector in Ethiopia By Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Araar,Abdelkrim
  24. Taming Private Leviathans : Regulation versus Taxation By Arezki,Rabah; Islam,Asif Mohammed; Rota-Graziosi,Gregoire

  1. By: Tim Schittekatte; Dharik S. Mallapragada; Paul L. Joskow; Richard Schmalensee
    Abstract: Currently, most U.S. electricity consumers pay a constant price per kWh consumed that accounts for most of their bill. Ongoing developments in the power system increase efficiency gains that can be made from exposing consumers to widely varying wholesale spot prices. Pure spot pricing is not popular; consumers (and politicians) value price predictability and bill stability. We focus on second-best alternatives: time-of-use (TOU) and critical peak pricing (CPP). We introduce alternative assessment criteria tailored to a context with increasing intraday shiftable loads. Using historical data from CAISO, ERCOT and ISO-NE, we find that out-of-sample daily Spearman rank correlations between TOU rates and spot prices can be relatively high (averaging 0.7-0.8), and simulations confirm that TOU rates can reasonably replicate efficient load-shifting incentives (up to 60-70% of the potential). Our analysis suggests that TOU rates, especially when complemented with CPP, can be considerably more socially valuable than previously estimated.
    JEL: L94 L97 Q41 Q42
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Takanori ADACHI; Susumu SATO; Mark J. TREMBLAY
    Abstract: Consumer multi-homing is considered to be critical for competition policy regarding digital platforms. To assess the role of consumer multi-homing in competition policy, we embed consumer multi-homing into a model of oligopolistic competition between two-sided platforms and apply it to mergers and free entry. We find that a required level of merger-specific cost reduction is larger if consumers benefit more from multi-homing and that the equilibrium level of platform entry can be insufficient in the presence of consumer multi-homing. We also show that reductions to sellers' benefit from multi- homing reduces entry (i.e., is an e ective barrier to entry). These results contrast the popular belief that multi-homing mitigates the need for stricter competition policy.
    Keywords: Two-sided markets; Indict network externalities; Multi-homing; Platform entry; Platform mergers.
    JEL: D40 L10 L20 L40
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Federica Daniele (Bank of Italy); Alessandra Pasquini (Bank of Italy); Stefano Clò (University of Florence); Enza Maltese (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper measures the impact of a series of reforms enacted by a subset of Italian regions from 2009 to 2013 that dramatically simplified the authorization procedure for investment in medium-sized photovoltaic (PV) plants, i.e. plants with an installed capacity of between 20 and 200 kW. We rely on georeferenced administrative data on nearly all of the PV plants built in Italy, and employ a stacked border diff-in-diff method. We compare the change in PV installations following the implementation of the simplification reforms between municipalities located close to the border in regions where the reforms were introduced and those located in neighbouring regions that did not implement the reforms. We find that simplification reforms increased the installed capacity in medium-sized plants by 29 percentage points. This resulted in 12 extra MW installed per quarter, which equates to about 10% of the average quarterly installed capacity for the same category of plants during 2009-2013.
    Keywords: photovoltaic investment, regulatory simplification, regions
    JEL: H23 K32 L51 Q42
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Jullien, Bruno; Bouvard, Matthieu
    Abstract: We study a cost-sharing mechanism where a content provider contributes to covering the costs incurred by a network operator when delivering content to consumers. The costshare not only boosts the content provider's incentives to moderate trac but also aects the price composition for consumers buying access and content. We show the overall eect on consumer welfare depends on the content provider's ability to monetize users. When that ability is high, introducing a cost-share can lead to lower overall prices and higher consumer welfare. We study the robustness of this result to long-term investments in cost reduction by the operator and to heterogeneity in consumers' taste for content. In extensions with multiple contents and multiple operators, contractual externalities arise that suggest a role for regulation.
    Date: 2022–10–25
  5. By: Motta, Massimo; Penta, Antonio
    Abstract: We investigate the market effects of brand search advertising, within a model where two firms simultaneously choose the price of their (differentiated) product and the bids for the advertising auction which is triggered by own and rival’s brand keywords search; and where there exist sophisticated/attentive consumers (who look for any available in-formation on their screen) and naive/inattentive consumers (who only look at the top link of their screen), both aware of either brand’s characteristics and price. Relative to a benchmark where only organic search exists, in any symmetric equilibrium each firm wins its own brand auction, and advertising has detrimental effects on welfare: (i) the sponsored link crowds out the rival’s organic link, thus reducing competition and choice, and leading to price increases; (ii) the payment of the rival’s bid (may) raise marginal cost, also contributing to raise market prices. Under extreme asymmetry (there is an incumbent and an unknown new entrant), we do find that the market effect of brand bidding might be beneficial, if the search engine does not list the entrant’s link in organic search, and the share of the sophisticated consumers in the economy is large enough for an equilibrium in which the entrant wins the advertising auction on the search for the incumbent’s brand to exist.
    Keywords: Digital advertising; auctions; oligopoly; search engines; brands; horizontal agreements
    Date: 2022–10–11
  6. By: Serafica, Ramonette B.; Oren, Queen Cel A.
    Abstract: Across different metrics, the information and communications technology (ICT) performance of the Philippines remains subpar compared to ASEAN members and other countries at the same level of development. The quality of the country’s ICT regulatory environment, composed of regulatory authority, regulatory mandate, regulatory regime, and competition model, is significantly below what is considered international best practice. Consequently, this has impeded the use of various technological solutions available to bridge the gap in digital inequality. Although significant policy changes have recently been introduced, more reforms are needed to achieve inclusive and accelerated digital connectivity. Priorities include reforming the licensing regime, formulating a spectrum policy and plan, and reinventing the NTC to ensure regulatory independence. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: ICT;telecommunications;digital;regulation;broadband;information and communications technology
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Claire-Marie Bergaentzl\'e (DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs Lyngby, Denmark); Philipp Andreas Gunkel (DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs Lyngby, Denmark); Mohammad Ansarin (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, 3062PA Rotterdam, Netherlands); Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, 3062PA Rotterdam, Netherlands); Henrik Klinge Jacobsen (DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs Lyngby, Denmark)
    Abstract: Developing new electricity grid tariffs in the context of household electrification raises old questions about who pays for what and to what extent. When electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps (HPs) are owned primarily by households with higher financial status than others, new tariff designs may clash with the economic argument for efficiency and the political arguments for fairness. This article combines tariff design and redistributive mechanisms to strike a balance between time-differentiated signals, revenue stability for the utility, limited grid costs for vulnerable households, and promoting electrification. We simulate the impacts of this combination on 1.4 million Danish households (about 50% of the country's population) and quantify the cross-subsidization effects between groups. With its unique level of detail, this study stresses the spillover effects of tariffs. We show that a subscription-heavy tariff associated with a ToU rate and a low redistribution factor tackles all the above goals.
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Takanori ADACHI
    Abstract: This survey provides a selected review of the recent progress in the theory of third-degree price discrimination. First, I focus on two well-known results in the literature: (i) an increase in aggregate output is necessary for price discrimination to increase social welfare, and (ii) price discrimination leads to a Pareto welfare improvement if one of the two markets is not served under uniform pricing. I argue when these results hold and when they fail to hold. Second, I consider oligopolistic competition and stress that there is no great divide between monopoly and oligopoly because both situations can be treated systematically in terms of an index that governs the intensity of competition.
    Date: 2022–09
  9. By: Rey, Patrick; Spiegel, Yossi; Stahl, Konrad
    Abstract: Growing concern about the market power of big tech giants has led to renewed interest in predatory behavior. We study the feasibility and prof- itability of predation in a dynamic environment, using a parsimonious infinite- horizon, complete information setting in which an incumbent repeatedly faces potential entry. When a rival enters, the incumbent chooses whether to ac- commodate or predate it; the entrant then decides whether to stay or exit. We show that there always exists a Markov perfect equilibrium, which can be of three types: accommodation, monopolization, and recurrent predation. We then analyze and compare the welfare effects of different antitrust policies.
    JEL: D43 L41
    Date: 2022–10–24
  10. By: Jacques Crémer (TSE-R - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Gary Biglaiser (UNC - University of North Carolina [Chapel Hill] - UNC - University of North Carolina System); André Veiga (Imperial College London)
    Abstract: We study incumbency advantage in markets with positive consumption externalities. Users of an incumbent platform receive sto- chastic opportunities to migrate to an entrant and can either accept them or wait for a future opportunity. In some circumstances, users have incentives to delay migration until others have migrated. If they all do so, no migration takes place, even when migration would have been Pareto-superior. We use our framework to identify environments where incumbency advantage is larger. A key result is that having more migration opportunities actually increases incumbency advantage.
    Keywords: Platform,Migration,Standardization and Compatibility,Industry Dynamics
    Date: 2022–08
  11. By: Nogues Comas,Antoni Albert; Mendes Dos Santos,Nuno Filipe
    Abstract: Given its size, public procurement matters for economic development. Transparency, competition, accountability, efficiency, and innovation are most commonly noted as guiding principles for achieving best value for money in public contracts. Yet, large-scale, frequently updated, and comparable data on public procurement processes are scarce. This paper presents the methodology and findings of a new global indicator that benchmarks public procurement regulations and practices across 191 economies. The indicator proposes three dimensions to measure the effective implementation of public procurement systems in practice, as applied to a standardized recurrent infrastructure (roads) contract. The three dimensions include the steps and associated time required to complete the procurement process, and the availability and sophistication of e-procurement platforms. A final, fourth component benchmarks the regulatory framework applicable to such contracts. Economies that score higher in the indicator are those with more effective governments, higher quality of roads, and smaller perceptions of corruption. Looking more closely at the scores along the four dimensions reveals that countries differ to a lesser extent in terms of regulatory practices, compared with the use of new technologies such as e-procurement, where considerable gaps between economies exist.
    Keywords: Judicial System Reform,Regulatory Regimes,Legal Products,Legal Reform,Social Policy,Legislation,Transport Services,Roads&Highways,Private Sector Economics,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Public Financial Management,Public Sector Economics
    Date: 2021–05–06
  12. By: Lee, Jen-Yao; Wang, Leonard F. S.; Sun, Ji
    Abstract: This paper analyzes upstream firms’ collusive sustainability when downstream firms adopt the relative-performance delegation in an infinitely repeated Cournot or Bertrand game. We find that relative-performance delegation makes managers act more aggressive and upstream collusion more difficult to sustain compared to sales-revenue delegation. The driving force is that downstream relative-performance delegation makes more profits for the deviated firm. This result holds regardless of the competition modes.
    Keywords: Relative-performance delegation; Upstream collusion; Vertically related market; Competition modes
    JEL: D21 D43 L13 L21
    Date: 2022–08–17
  13. By: Mohit Garg; Suneel Sarswat
    Abstract: We use formal methods to specify, design, and monitor continuous double auctions, which are widely used to match buyers and sellers at exchanges of foreign currencies, stocks, and commodities. We identify three natural properties of such auctions and formally prove that these properties completely determine the input-output relationship. We then formally verify that a natural algorithm satisfies these properties. All definitions, theorems, and proofs are formalized in an interactive theorem prover. We extract a verified program of our algorithm to build an automated checker that is guaranteed to detect errors in the trade logs of exchanges if they generate transactions that violate any of the natural properties.
    Date: 2022–10
  14. By: Mantovani, Andrea; Reggiani, Carlo; Broocks, Annette; Duch-Brown, Nestor; Ma, Peiyao
    Abstract: Dominant platforms such as and Amazon often impose Price Parity Clauses to prevent sellers from charging lower prices on alternative sales channels. We provide quasi-experimental evidence on the full removal of these price restrictions in France in 2015 for three major international hotel groups. Our analysis reveals a limited and non-significant effect on room prices. The external validity of this finding is established by focusing on similar policy interventions in Germany in 2016 and Austria in 2017. Our results imply that the prohibitions of Price Parity Clauses turned out to be ineffective in sizeably reducing final prices for consumers.
    JEL: D40 K21 L10 L42
    Date: 2022–10–11
  15. By: Ferracane,Martina Francesca; Van Der Marel,Erik Leendert
    Abstract: While regulations on personal data diverge widely between countries, it is nonetheless possible to identify three main models based on their distinctive features: one model based on open transfers and processing of data, a second model based on conditional transfers and processing, and third a model based on limited transfers and processing. These three data models have become a reference for many other countries when defining their rules on the cross-border transfer and domestic processing of personal data. The study reviews their main characteristics and systematically identifies for 116 countries worldwide to which model they adhere for the two components of data regulation (i.e. cross-border transfers and domestic processing of data). In a second step, using gravity analysis, the study estimates whether countries sharing the same data model exhibit higher or lower digital services trade compared to countries with different regulatory data models. The results show that sharing the open data model for cross-border data transfers is positively associated with trade in digital services, while sharing the conditional model for domestic data processing is also positively correlated with trade in digital services. Country-pairs sharing the limited model, instead, exhibit a double whammy: they show negative trade correlations throughout the two components of data regulation. Robustness checks control for restrictions in digital services, the quality of digital infrastructure, as well as for the use of alternative data sources.
    Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules,Information Security&Privacy,Export Competitiveness,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework,ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Applications
    Date: 2021–03–23
  16. By: Demekas, Dimitri; Grippa, Pierpaolo
    Abstract: As with the global financial crisis, there are once again demands on central banks and financial regulators to take on new responsibilities, this time for supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. Regulators can indeed facilitate the reorientation of financial flows necessary for the transition. But they may find themselves walking a tightrope, having to balance exaggerated expectations against limited capabilities and political economy constraints. Their diagnostic and policy toolkits are still in their infancy. Expanding their legal mandates to take on these new, essentially political, responsibilities should be done through the political process and be accompanied by strengthened governance and accountability arrangements. Taking on these new responsibilities can also have potential pitfalls and unintended consequences on financial markets. Ultimately, central banks and financial regulators cannot deliver a low-carbon economy by themselves and should not risk being caught again in the role of ‘the only game in town’.
    Keywords: Financial stability; financial regulation; climate change; climate mitigation policy; low-carbon econmy; energy transition; OUP deal
    JEL: F3 G3 J1
    Date: 2022–09–14
  17. By: Engels, Barbara
    Abstract: Große Plattformunternehmen wie Meta, Alphabet und Amazon erleben derzeit ein regelrechtes Regulierungsfeuerwerk in der Europäischen Union. So sorgen unter anderem der Digital Services Act und der Digital Markets Act für eine strengere Kontrolle von großen Plattformunternehmen. Dass das von den intensivsten Nutzerinnen und Nutzern dieser Onlinedienste gutgeheißen wird, zeigt eine Befragung unter 968 Jugendlichen in Deutschland.
    Date: 2022
  18. By: Watzinger, Martin (University of Muenster and CEPR); Schnitzer, Monika (LMU Munich and CEPR)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of the 1984 breakup of the Bell System on the rate, diversity, and direction of US innovation. In the antitrust case leading to the breakup, AT&T, the holding company of the Bell System, was accused of using exclusionary practices against competitors. The breakup was intended to end these practices. After the breakup, the scale and diversity of telecommunications innovation increased. Total patenting by US inventors related to telecommunications increased by 19%, driven by companies unrelated to the Bell System. Patenting by Bell's successor companies decreased, but not the number of top inventions.
    Keywords: antitrust, innovation, diversity, exclusionary practices
    JEL: O30 K21 L40
    Date: 2022–10–10
  19. By: Takanori ADACHI; Mark J. TREMBLAY
    Abstract: In this paper, we determine how a no-surcharge rule (NSR) impacts effective prices in retail markets (prices that include any consumer payment rewards). This question is fundamentally related to policy, and we provide robust answers by considering how a variety of market structures are impacted by multiple payment methods and different surcharging rules. We find that when a no-surcharge rule is applied, effective prices in a particular market are often higher across all payment methods. In this case, the no-surcharge rule protects a double marginalization effect where the premium payment method inserts an additional margin that harms all consumers and all merchants, and this loss in welfare can be rectified by allowing merchant surcharging across payment methods. Our results are robust across retail market structures, suggesting that NSRs are generally harmful (except for the payment companies).
    Keywords: Credit cards, merchant fees, consumer rewards, Ohio v.s. American Express
    JEL: L10 L20 L42
    Date: 2022–08
  20. By: W. Benedikt Schmal
    Abstract: Collusive practices of firms continue to be a major threat to competition and consumer welfare. Academic research on this topic aims at understanding the economic drivers and behavioral patterns of cartels, among others, to guide competition authorities on how to tackle them. Utilizing topical machine learning techniques in the domain of natural language processing enables me to analyze the publications on this issue over more than 20 years in a novel way. Coming from a stylized oligopoly-game theory focus, researchers recently turned toward empirical case studies of bygone cartels. Uni- and multivariate time series analyses reveal that the latter did not supersede the former but filled a gap the decline in rule-based reasoning has left. Together with a tendency towards monocultures in topics covered and an endogenous constriction of the topic variety, the course of cartel research has changed notably: The variety of subjects included has grown, but the pluralism in economic questions addressed is in descent. It remains to be seen whether this will benefit or harm the cartel detection capabilities of authorities in the future.
    Date: 2022–10
  21. By: OECD
    Abstract: There is mounting concern that dark commercial patterns may cause substantial consumer detriment. These practices are commonly found in online user interfaces and steer, deceive, coerce, or manipulate consumers into making choices that often are not in their best interests. This report proposes a working definition of dark commercial patterns, sets out evidence of their prevalence, effectiveness and harms, and identifies possible policy and enforcement responses to assist consumer policy makers and authorities in addressing them. It also documents possible approaches that consumers and businesses may take to mitigate dark commercial patterns.
    Date: 2022–10–26
  22. By: Allain, Marie-Laure; Chambolle, Claire; Turolla, Stéphane
    Abstract: We develop a model of vertical relations between national brand and private label producers and competing multi product retailers to derive new predictions on the impact of input price discrimination on retail prices. A reform that lifted a ban on input price discrimination in France provides a natural experiment to test these predictions. Using household scanner data on food prices, we run a difference-in-differences analysis and show that the reform caused a significant decrease of the relative prices of national brand products. These results suggest a pro-competitive effect of authorizing input price discrimination.
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis, Industrial Organization
    Date: 2022–10–24
  23. By: Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Araar,Abdelkrim
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel method for estimating the likely welfare effects of competition reforms for both current and new consumers. Using household budget survey data from 2015/16 for Ethiopia and assuming a reform scenario that dilutes the market share of the telecommunications state-owned monopoly to 45 percent, the model predicts a 25.3 percent reduction in the price of mobile services and an increase of 4.6 million new users of mobile phone services. This reform is expected to generate a welfare gain of 1.37 percent among all consumers. Poverty rates are expected to decline by 0.31 percentage point, driven by a reduction of 0.22 percentage point for current consumers and 0.09 percentage point among new users. Inequality would increase by 0.23 Gini point since better-off consumers are more likely to reap the benefits of greater competition. This method represents a powerful tool for supporting the analysis of competition reforms in developing countries, particularly in sectors known for excluding significant segments of the population due to high consumer prices.
    Keywords: Inequality,ICT Economics,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Information Technology
    Date: 2021–01–20
  24. By: Arezki,Rabah; Islam,Asif Mohammed; Rota-Graziosi,Gregoire
    Abstract: This paper explores the interplay between concentration of wealth and policies, namely regulation and taxation. The paper exploits variation in exposure to international commodity prices. Using a global panel data set of the net worth of billionaires, the results point to a positive relationship between commodity prices and the concentration of wealth at the top. Regulation especially pertaining to competition is found to limit the effects of commodity price shocks on the concentration of wealth, while taxation has little effect. Moreover, commodity price shocks crowd out non-resource tax revenue, hence limiting the scope for income transfers and redistribution. The results are consistent with the primacy of ex ante interventions over ex post ones for addressing wealth inequality.
    Keywords: Energy and Natural Resources,Coastal and Marine Resources,Food Security,Oil Refining&Gas Industry,Public Sector Economics,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Macro-Fiscal Policy,Taxation&Subsidies,Economic Adjustment and Lending
    Date: 2021–01–29

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