Live comments from the CCP Summer Conference 2014 – Session 5

Session 5: The UK experience of Market Investigations:

Andrea Coscelli (Competition and Markets Authority) discussed the UK experience of Market Investigations. The market investigation regime was established in Enterprise Act 2002 which enables holistic examination of markets. Since 2002, 14 market investigations have been completed out of which 13 markets where adverse effects on competition were found and remedied and one was cleared. Market investigation remedies create benefits for customers (i) through the direct introduction of measures that address competition problems, (ii) affecting or influencing other regulations/regulators and (iii) the impact of the behaviour of the partied where the sector has been scrutinized. It is however not straightforward to evaluate MIR due to the difficulty of framing the counterfactual and gathering of relevant information for ex post evaluation.

The three main types of remedies discussed are market opening which aims at lowering barriers to entry/ expansion for competing suppliers, strengthening consumer response and divesture which changes the structure of the market. Competition Commission preferred to deal with the underlying problems rather than just “treat the symptoms” i.e. mitigate adverse effects.

Remedies therefore focus on promoting competition and making markets work better rather than regulatory approach of controlling outcomes. Remedies are flexible to the specific issues identifies in the MIR and have had substantial early impact in certain markets.

Coscelli

About CCP
The Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) conducts interdisciplinary research into competition policy and regulation.

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