You are so involved in being right you can’t seem to read what I’m saying.
Telephone books never had a monopoly because anyone could print a book and mail it out to anyone in the region, and companies did at no cost to the consumer!
If you are so correct that this barrier to entry was so high nobody would enter then why would they enter? Because companies did. You also assume companies rolled the cost of books into their rate(you don’t know that) in fact many major companies are compromised of divisions that operate purely on their own. Even if you were correct in stating that they rolled the costs of the books into their rate, companies like Yellow Book found it plenty lucrative to publish a 2nd rate book and make money off of it. Your premise is flawed.
Look friend, if you can’t understand that a guarnteed monopoly on phone service, with rates that covered the printing of phone books, gave an insurmountable advantage to the phone company, then I’m almost at a loss to help you. If you don’t think you are paying for that printing of that phone book that lands on your front door via your rates, then again, I can’t help you.
Why did other companies enter? Because, as I pointed out initially, the phone company had so exceeded any reasonable ad rate that there was some room for margin; however, that margin was always thin compared to the phone company, which made them uncompetitive.
1. The cost of the phone company printing the books and distributing them was paid for by the customer. That is a huge cost. The competition had to take that cost out of profits.
2. The phone company had a system by which new advertising customers had to immediately register with them. The competition had to go and look for clients. Not cheap.
3. A business had a choice of paying the phone company an outrageous amount for advertising, paying less to a competitor that never had any chance of suceeding, or paying both. It turns out that extortion works, when its not a bluff.
I’m not sure what business you’re in, but you wouldn’t be in it for long if the government gave your competitor the type of advantage that the phone company had with the yellow pages.