From Monopoly to Free Competition

  • Simone Fari


The early 1850s were a key period in the development of the telegraph correspondence market, with the passage from the Electric’s monopoly (1850) to the existence of four companies (1855). New arrivals were always interpreted as a direct challenge to the Electric, by the company itself, the often-hostile press and complaining clients. Following the classic strategy of latecomers, the new telegraph companies tried to enter the market by inserting themselves in niches left vacant by the Electric, so they exploited the thous& of miles of railway devoid of telegraph systems and the scores of important industrial and commercial centres still lacking coverage. The new entries had extremely different approaches, for while some challenged the Electric with marketing and legal duels, others moved the battle over to technological innovations and ensuing efficiencies. On its part, the Electric fought the war in defence of its monopoly, attacking on all sides (political and technological) and reaching the end of the five-year period with a telegraph network which was almost twice as big as all the others put together.


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© Simone Fari 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Fari
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GranadaSpain

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