chapter  9
A force for market competition or market power?
ByLewis Evans
Pages 16

The acquisition, analysis and use of information are fundamental to the operation of all markets. The ‘new economy’ is characterised by the high level of information processing, storage and distribution made possible by modern computer, electronics and fibre-optic technology, and by the rapid development of new technologies relevant to production and distribution in all sectors of the economy. As long ago as 145-87 BC, the importance of the ‘invisible hand’ and prices for conveying information for the organisation of economic activity were recognised.1 In this chapter I shall review the principal themes of the economic analysis of information over the past 50 years and examine the impact of neweconomy technology on the organisation of firms, the organisation of markets and competitive and cooperative relationships between firms.